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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jan 21;111(3):E394-403. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1313769110. Epub 2014 Jan 2.

Contactin-1 regulates myelination and nodal/paranodal domain organization in the central nervous system.

Author information

1
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037.

Abstract

Myelin, a multilayered membrane sheath formed by oligodendrocytes around axons in the CNS, enables rapid nerve impulse conduction and sustains neuronal health. The signals exchanged between axons and oligodendrocytes in myelin remain to be fully elucidated. Here we provide genetic evidence for multiple and critical functions of Contactin-1 in central myelin. We document dynamic Contactin-1 expression on oligodendrocytes in vivo, and progressive accumulation at nodes of Ranvier and paranodes during postnatal mouse development. Nodal and paranodal expression stabilized in mature myelin, but overall membranous expression diminished. Contactin-1-deficiency disrupted paranodal junction formation as evidenced by loss of Caspr, mislocalized potassium Kv1.2 channels, and abnormal myelin terminal loops. Reduced numbers and impaired maturation of sodium channel clusters accompanied this phenotype. Histological, electron microscopic, and biochemical analyses uncovered significant hypomyelination in Contactin-1-deficient central nerves, with up to 60% myelin loss. Oligodendrocytes were present in normal numbers, albeit a minor population of neuronal/glial antigen 2-positive (NG2(+)) progenitors lagged in maturation by postnatal day 18, when the mouse null mutation was lethal. Major contributing factors to hypomyelination were defects in the generation and organization of myelin membranes, as judged by electron microscopy and quantitative analysis of oligodendrocyte processes labeled by GFP transgenically expressed from the proteolipid protein promoter. These data reveal that Contactin-1 regulates both myelin formation and organization of nodal and paranodal domains in the CNS. These multiple roles distinguish central Contactin-1 functions from its specific role at paranodes in the periphery, and emphasize mechanistic differences in central and peripheral myelination.

PMID:
24385581
PMCID:
PMC3903244
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1313769110
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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