Therapeutic Potential of a Novel Glucagon-like Peptide-1 Receptor Agonist, NLY01, in Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis

Marjan Gharagozloo, Matthew D. Smith, Elias S. Sotirchos, Jing Jin, Keya Meyers, Michelle Taylor, Thomas Garton, Riley Bannon, Hannah Noelle Lord, Ted M. Dawson, Valina L. Dawson, Seulki Lee, Peter A. Calabresi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS), characterized by demyelination, gliosis, and neurodegeneration. While the currently available disease-modifying therapies effectively suppress the immune attack on the CNS, there are no therapies to date that directly mitigate neurodegeneration. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is a small peptide hormone that maintains glucose homeostasis. A novel GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonist, NLY01, was recently shown to have neuroprotective effects in the animal models of Parkinson’s disease and is now in a phase 2 clinical trial. In this study, we investigated the therapeutic potential of NLY01 in a mouse model of MS, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Our data show that NLY01 delays the onset and attenuates the severity of EAE in a prevention paradigm, when given before disease onset. NLY01 inhibits the activation of immune cells in the spleen and reduces their trafficking into the CNS. In addition, we show that NLY01 suppresses the production of chemokines that are involved in leukocyte recruitment to the site of inflammation. The anti-inflammatory effect of NLY01 at the early stage of EAE may block the expression of the genes associated with neurotoxic astrocytes in the optic nerves, thereby preventing retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss in the progressive stage of EAE. In the therapeutic paradigm, NLY01 significantly decreases the clinical score and second attack in a model of relapsing–remitting EAE. GLP-1R agonists may have dual efficacy in MS by suppressing peripheral and CNS inflammation, thereby limiting neuronal loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1834-1848
Number of pages15
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • EAE
  • GLP-1R
  • Inflammation
  • MS
  • NLY01
  • RGC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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