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Two drugs approved for topical use in humans to treat skin conditions can coax mouse and human oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) to mature into oligodendrocytes, which produce the protective myelin sheaths around nerve fibers that are attacked by the immune system in patients with multiple sclerosis (Najm FJ et al. Nature. doi:10.1038/nature14335 [published online April 20, 2015]). Although OPCs are abundant in demyelinated regions of patients with multiple sclerosis, they fail to differentiate.
Hampton T. Drugs that Treat Skin Conditions May Help Combat Multiple Sclerosis. JAMA. 2015;313(21):2114. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.5672