Myelin Protection by Ursolic Acid in Cuprizone-Induced Demyelination in Mice

Document Type: Research article


1 Department of Biology, Damghan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Damghan, Iran.

2 Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Biological Science, North_Tehran Branch, Tehran, Iran.

3 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

4 Department Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Cell Science Research Center, Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology, ACECR, Tehran, Iran.


Neuronal survival in multiple sclerosis (MS) and other demyelinating diseases depends on the preservation of myelin and remyelination of axons. Myelin protection is the main purpose to decrease myelin damage in the central nervous system (CNS). Ursolic acid (UA) as a natural product in apple is suggested to protect neural cells. This study is the first to demonstrate an effect for UA on CNS myelin loss induced by cuprizone toxin. In the current study, we hypothesized that daily treatment with UA in drinking water (1 mg/ml) prevents myelin damage by 6 weeks administration of CPZ in mice pellet which lead to corpus callosum axonal demyelination. We assessed the myelin content and the number of myelinating cells in corpus callosum by FluoroMyelin and luxol fast blue staining as well as by immunostaining against MBP and Olig2. Our finding indicated that UA could decrease the extent of demyelination area and enhanced myelin stain intensity within CC and protected oligodendrocyte lineage cells against cuprizone toxin. We could conclude that myelinated structures could be protected by UA in corpus callosum, which provide favorable evidence for the possibility of application of UA in demyelinating diseases and traumatic injuries.


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