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J Neuropathol Exp Neurol. 2004 Jun;63(6):660-73.

Perturbed myelination process of premyelinating oligodendrocyte in Niemann-Pick type C mouse.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7525, USA.


Niemann-Pick disease type C (NPC) is an autosomal recessive neurovisceral lipid storage disease caused by a loss of NPCI function, which results in perturbation of intracellular cholesterol transport. In BALB/c npc(nih) mice, the murine ortholog of NPCI gene is mutated. In NPC mouse, hypomyelination is conspicuous in the cerebral white matter and corpus callosum in addition to neuronal storage. However, the pathogenesis on hypomyelination is not well elucidated. We hypothesized that the hypomyelination in NPC mice resulted from either defective differentiation of oligodendrocyte lineage cells or a failure of proper axon-glial interaction. Myelin basic protein immunohistochemistry disclosed severe hypomyelination of cerebral cortex as well. NG2- or O4-positive progenitor cells and premyelinating oligodendrocytes (OLs) were abundant. However, pi-glutathione-S-transferase-positive mature OLs were considerably reduced. In hypomyelinated white matter, strong immunoreactivity of polysialylated-neural cell adhesion molecule, a negative regulator of myelination, was observed in axons. Given the fact that neuro-axonal degeneration has been observed in NPC mouse as early as 9 days of age prior to the commencement of myelination in the corpus callosum and that axonal signals are essential for the proper myelination, subtle axonal injury might be contributing to the pathogenesis of disturbed myelination in the NPC mouse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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