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J Neurosci Res. 1997 Oct 15;50(2):238-47.

CNP overexpression induces aberrant oligodendrocyte membranes and inhibits MBP accumulation and myelin compaction.

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Department of Neurosciences, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio 44195, USA.


2',3'-Cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase (CNP) is highly enriched in myelin-forming cells where it is concentrated at the cytoplasmic side of all surface membranes except those of compact myelin. Previous studies have provided evidence that CNP is functionally involved in migration or expansion of membranes during myelination. This hypothesis is supported, in part, by the production of aberrant myelin membranes in transgenic mice that have a 6-fold increase in CNP expression. In addition, many myelin lamellae in these CNP-overexpressing mice lacked major dense lines (MDLs). The purpose of the present study was to determine if CNP overexpression altered: (1) oligodendrocyte and myelin membrane production during early stages of myelination, and (2) the ultrastructural distribution of CNP and myelin basic protein (MBP) in myelin membranes. We identified aberrant membrane expanses that extended from premyelinating oligodendrocyte processes, the periaxonal membrane, and the contact point between oligodendrocyte processes and myelin internodes. Myelin membranes without MDLs were deficient in MBP and enriched in CNP. These data support a functional role for CNP during oligodendrocyte membrane expansion and indicate, for the first time, that CNP may help target MBP to compact myelin.

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