Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Nimodipine reduces dysfunction and demyelination in models of multiple sclerosis

Desai, Roshni A.; Davies, Andrew L.; Del Rossi, Natalie; Tachrount, Mohamed; Dyson, Alex; Gustavson, Britta; Kaynezhad, Pardis; MacKenzie, Lewis; van der Putten, Marieke A.; McElroy, Daniel; Schiza, Dimitra; Linington, Christopher; Singer, Mervyn; Harvey, Andrew R.; Tachtsidis, Ilias; Golay, Xavier; Smith, Kenneth J.

Nimodipine reduces dysfunction and demyelination in models of multiple sclerosis Thumbnail


Roshni A. Desai

Andrew L. Davies

Natalie Del Rossi

Mohamed Tachrount

Alex Dyson

Britta Gustavson

Pardis Kaynezhad

Lewis MacKenzie

Marieke A. van der Putten

Daniel McElroy

Dimitra Schiza

Christopher Linington

Mervyn Singer

Andrew R. Harvey

Ilias Tachtsidis

Xavier Golay

Kenneth J. Smith


Objective: Treatment of relapses in multiple sclerosis (MS) has not advanced beyond steroid use, which reduces acute loss of function, but has little effect on residual disability. Acute loss of function in an MS model (experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; EAE) is partly due to CNS hypoxia, and function can promptly improve upon breathing oxygen. Here we investigate the cause of the hypoxia and whether it is due to a deficit in oxygen supply arising from impaired vascular perfusion. We also explore whether the CNS‐selective vasodilating agent, nimodipine, may provide a therapy to restore function, and protect from demyelination in two MS models. Methods: A variety of methods have been employed to measure basic cardiovascular physiology, spinal oxygenation, mitochondrial function and tissue perfusion in EAE. Results: We report that the tissue hypoxia in EAE is associated with a profound hypoperfusion of the inflamed spinal cord. Treatment with nimodipine restores spinal oxygenation and can rapidly improve function. Nimodipine therapy also reduces demyelination in both EAE, and a model of the early MS lesion. Interpretation: Loss of function in EAE, and demyelination in EAE and the model early MS lesion, appear to be due, at least in part, to tissue hypoxia due to local spinal hypoperfusion. Therapy to improve blood flow not only protects neurological function, but also reduces demyelination. We conclude that nimodipine could be repurposed to offer substantial clinical benefit in MS.


Desai, R. A., Davies, A. L., Del Rossi, N., Tachrount, M., Dyson, A., Gustavson, B., …Smith, K. J. (2020). Nimodipine reduces dysfunction and demyelination in models of multiple sclerosis. Annals of Neurology, 88(1), 123-136.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Apr 13, 2020
Online Publication Date May 6, 2020
Publication Date 2020-07
Deposit Date Apr 20, 2020
Publicly Available Date May 20, 2020
Journal Annals of Neurology
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 88
Issue 1
Pages 123-136


Published Journal Article (Advance online version) (3 Mb)

Publisher Licence URL

Copyright Statement
Advance online version © 2020 The Authors. Annals of Neurology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Neurological Association. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

You might also like

Downloadable Citations