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ASN Neuro. 2009 Sep 23;1(4). pii: e00017. doi: 10.1042/AN20090029.

Targeted overexpression of a golli-myelin basic protein isoform to oligodendrocytes results in aberrant oligodendrocyte maturation and myelination.

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Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Neuroscience Research Building, 635 Charles Young Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


Recently, several in vitro studies have shown that the golli-myelin basic proteins regulate Ca2+ homoeostasis in OPCs (oligodendrocyte precursor cells) and immature OLs (oligodendrocytes), and that a number of the functions of these cells are affected by cellular levels of the golli proteins. To determine the influence of golli in vivo on OL development and myelination, a transgenic mouse was generated in which the golli isoform J37 was overexpressed specifically within OLs and OPCs. The mouse, called JOE (J37-overexpressing), is severely hypomyelinated between birth and postnatal day 50. During this time, it exhibits severe intention tremors that gradually abate at later ages. After postnatal day 50, ultrastructural studies and Northern and Western blot analyses indicate that myelin accumulates in the brain, but never reaches normal levels. Several factors appear to underlie the extensive hypomyelination. In vitro and in vivo experiments indicate that golli overexpression causes a significant delay in OL maturation, with accumulation of significantly greater numbers of pre-myelinating OLs that fail to myelinate axons during the normal myelinating period. Immunohistochemical studies with cell death and myelin markers indicate that JOE OLs undergo a heightened and extended period of cell death and are unable to effectively myelinate until 2 months after birth. The results indicate that increased levels of golli in OPC/OLs delays myelination, causing significant cell death of OLs particularly in white matter tracts. The results provide in vivo evidence for a significant role of the golli proteins in the regulation of maturation of OLs and normal myelination.

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