Fibrinogen Activates BMP Signaling in Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cells and Inhibits Remyelination after Vascular Damage

Mark A. Petersen, Jae Kyu Ryu, Kae Jiun Chang, Ainhoa Etxeberria, Sophia Bardehle, Andrew S. Mendiola, Wanjiru Kamau-Devers, Stephen P.J. Fancy, Andrea Thor, Eric A. Bushong, Bernat Baeza-Raja, Catriona A. Syme, Michael D. Wu, Pamela E. Rios Coronado, Anke Meyer-Franke, Stephanie Yahn, Lauriane Pous, Jae K. Lee, Christian Schachtrup, Hans LassmannEric J. Huang, May H. Han, Martina Absinta, Daniel S. Reich, Mark H. Ellisman, David H. Rowitch, Jonah R. Chan, Katerina Akassoglou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption alters the composition of the brain microenvironment by allowing blood proteins into the CNS. However, whether blood-derived molecules serve as extrinsic inhibitors of remyelination is unknown. Here we show that the coagulation factor fibrinogen activates the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway in oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) and suppresses remyelination. Fibrinogen induces phosphorylation of Smad 1/5/8 and inhibits OPC differentiation into myelinating oligodendrocytes (OLs) while promoting an astrocytic fate in vitro. Fibrinogen effects are rescued by BMP type I receptor inhibition using dorsomorphin homolog 1 (DMH1) or CRISPR/Cas9 activin A receptor type I (ACVR1) knockout in OPCs. Fibrinogen and the BMP target Id2 are increased in demyelinated multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions. Therapeutic depletion of fibrinogen decreases BMP signaling and enhances remyelination in vivo. Targeting fibrinogen may be an upstream therapeutic strategy to promote the regenerative potential of CNS progenitors in diseases with remyelination failure. Extrinsic inhibitors contribute to remyelination failure in neurological diseases. Petersen et al. identify the blood coagulation factor fibrinogen as an activator of BMP receptor signaling in oligodendrocyte progenitor cells that may be targeted therapeutically to promote remyelination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1003-1012.e7
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 6 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • NG2 cells
  • ancrod
  • cell fate
  • fibrin
  • myelin
  • neonatal brain injury
  • neuroinflammation
  • regeneration
  • stem/progenitor cells
  • vasculature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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