GFAP Immunoreactivity Displays Astroglios is in Female Mice Heterozygous for Jimpy I. Astroglial Plasticity in Jimpy Mice
Furicchia, Louis A.
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The jimpy mutation is a sex-linked disorder which produces severe hypomyelination throughout the central nervous system (CNS) of hemizygous male mice. The female carrier also expresses the mutation. but to a lesser extent. In the optic nerves of the female carriers of the jimpy gene, the distribution of myelin displays a mosaic pattern; patches of unmyelinated tissue are interspersed with myelinated zones. It was previously shown that astroglial hypertrophy is associated with the white matter. This study was done to observe the existence and extent of astrogliosis in the female carriers. Using antiserum to glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), this immunocytochemical investigation shows that the optic nerves of the female carriers exhibits patches of gliosis which are similar to those found in affected males. The patches are not present in the white matter of the carriers' brain and spinal cord, but GFAP-immunoreactivity is more intense than in control females. Throughout the fiber tracts (e.g. corpus collosum spinal cord) there is an increase in the number of immunostained astrocytes compared to the female controls; the astrocytes are larger, revealing more processes and are very immunoreactive. This study shows that myelin retardation is accompanied by an astroglial hypertrophy. The second part of the study attempts to examine the extent of compensation (glial plasticity) in 30 day female carriers; that is, the mechanisms by which the carrier females compensate for the jimpy gene, reversing the astrogliosis bringing the female carrier to a near-normal state. Through morphomatrics, immunocytochemistry, and this. study show minimal some quantitation) the results of amounts of compensation in the 30 day female carriers.in comparison to the 30 day female controls. The astrocytic processes in the 30 day female carriers still show an intense immunoreactivity; more so than the astrocytic processes displayed in the 30 day female controls.