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J Neurosci. 2003 Jun 1;23(11):4401-5.

Mouse NG2+ oligodendrocyte precursors express mRNA for proteolipid protein but not its DM-20 variant: a study of laser microdissection-captured NG2+ cells.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7220, USA. ping_ye@med.unc.edu

Abstract

Despite recent advances in our understanding of lineage of oligodendrocytes, detailed molecular characterization of this lineage in vivo is limited, primarily because of our inability to obtain a pure population of cells in situ. To define the molecular characteristics of oligodendrocyte lineage cells during development and their response to injury, we developed a strategy that uses laser capture microdissection (LCM) to isolate cells from sections and reverse transcription-PCR to determine mRNA expression. As a first step, we examined the expression of myelin-specific protein genes in NG2+ cells in cerebral cortex. We demonstrate that NG2+ cells in both developing and adult mice express NG2 mRNA but not mRNA for proteins specific for astrocytes, neurons, or microglia, indicating that a highly pure population of antigen-specific cells of the oligodendrocyte lineage can be obtained using LCM. Furthermore, we show that NG2+ cells express mRNAs for proteolipid protein (PLP), myelin basic protein, and 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase, but they dot not express DM-20 mRNA, a PLP mRNA splicing variant. Our data demonstrate that antigen-specific cells of oligodendrocyte lineage differentially express mRNA for myelin-specific proteins and their variants in vivo, partly define the gene expression in NG2+ cells, and raise questions about the cellular sites of DM-20 expression. This work also shows that LCM is a valuable tool to define and analyze gene expression in the cells of the oligodendrocyte lineage.

PMID:
12805279
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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