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Glia. 1993 Nov;9(3):163-75.

Astrocytes and neurons regulate the expression of the neural recognition molecule janusin by cultured oligodendrocytes.

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Department of Neurobiology, University of Heidelberg, Germany.


Janusin (formerly designated J1-160/180) is an extracellular matrix glycoprotein highly homologous to tenascin, consisting of two major molecular forms of 160 and 180 kD expressed by oligodendrocytes and in myelin. Janusin expression is upregulated during myelination and in the adult it remains expressed at lower levels. It is also present at the node of Ranvier, where myelin, axon, and astrocytic process are in close contact. To gain an understanding of the regulatory mechanisms which may underlie expression of janusin, the differentiation stage-dependent expression of janusin was studied in cultures enriched in mouse oligodendrocytes and their precursor cells. Expression of janusin by these cells was highest on both A2B5+ and O4+/O1- oligodendroglial precursor cells and a subset of myelin associated glycoprotein-positive (MAG+) oligodendrocytes. Hardly any of the more differentiated O1+ or O10+ oligodendrocytes expressed janusin. Expression of janusin was influenced by co-culture with astrocytes or neurons. Astrocytes or astrocytic-conditioned culture supernatants elevated the expression of janusin by the more differentiated oligodendrocytes (O1+ or MAG+ cells), while its expression by oligodendroglial precursor cells was relatively unchanged. Platelet-derived growth factor, but not basic fibroblast growth factor, also elevated the expression of janusin by O1+ or O10+ oligodendrocytes. In contrast, co-culture with neurons originating from dorsal root ganglia or spinal cord decreased the expression of cell-bound janusin by oligodendrocytes and their precursor cells. These observations indicate that expression of janusin on these cells in culture is susceptible to opposing regulatory influences from astrocytes and neurons. Such influences may modulate the temporal and spatial distribution of janusin in the developing and adult central nervous system.

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