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Maturation-dependent apoptotic cell death of oligodendrocytes in myelin-deficient rats

Maturation-dependent apoptotic cell death of oligodendrocytes in myelin-deficient rats

Journal of Neuroscience Research 54(5): 623-634

Mutations in the proteolipid protein gene (PLP/plp), which encodes the major intrinsic membrane protein in central nervous system (CNS) myelin, cause inherited dysmyelination in mammals. One of these mutants, the myelin-deficient (md) rat, has severe dysmyelination that is associated with oligodendrocyte cell death. Using the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT)-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end-labeling (TUNEL) assay, which labels apoptotic cells, we find that cell death is increased in multiple white matter tracts of md rats. The tracts that myelinate the earliest show the earliest increase in cell death, and cell death persists for at least 22 days, the lifespan of these mutant animals. In all tracts, and at all developmental ages examined, apoptotic cells expressed the markers of mature oligodendrocytes, such as myelin basic protein, myelin-associated glycoprotein, and the Rip antigen, but not chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan, a marker of oligodendrocyte precursors. Mature oligodendrocytes fail to accumulate in md brain because they die before they fully mature.

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Accession: 046631818

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PMID: 9843153

DOI: 10.1002/(sici)1097-4547(19981201)54:5<623::aid-jnr7>3.0.co;2-r

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