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Dev Neurosci. 2001;23(1):7-16.

Rumpshaker behaves like juvenile-lethal Plp mutations when combined with shiverer in double mutant mice.

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Department of Cell Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Mass. 01655, USA.


The phenotypes of double mutant mice whose genomes are homozygous for an Mbp (myelin basic protein) mutation and hemizygous for a juvenile-lethal Plp (proteolipid protein) mutation were compared in earlier studies. The results suggested that the shiverer Mpb mutation might have some unexplained ability to partially rescue oligodendrocytes (OLs) from the 'death sentence' that is imposed by the Plp mutations. Conversely, they also indicated that the juvenile-lethal Plp mutations may normalize shiverer OL morphology by reducing the numbers of microprocesses. The Plp mutation rumpshaker produces a mild hypomyelination without reduction in OL numbers and a normal lifespan. This report describes double mutant mice combining two Mbp mutations with rumpshaker, utilizing a common B6C3F1 hybrid-based genetic background. Initial studies on B6C3F1 rumpshaker optic nerve and spinal cord white matter showed unanticipated signs of OL death, with morphologic criteria suggestive of an apoptotic mechanism. In shiverer*rumpshaker double mutant mice, this small class of dying cells could not be identified. White matter morphology was similar to that of mice expressing only the shiverer mutation, except that OL microprocesses were far less abundant. This evidence suggests that, despite their distinctive phenotypic differences, rumpshaker may share more characteristics with the juvenile-lethal Plp mutations than has previously been recognized.

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