The Effects of Antisense Oligodeoxynucleotides against Proteolipid Protein on the Proliferation and Development of Glial Cells
Perry, Christine M.
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Myelin is an important structure required for the conduction of nerve impulses in the nervous system. Oligodendrocytes, which are one type of glial cell in the central nervous system, are the cells that supply the myelin membrane by extensions of their cytoplasmic processes encapsulating surrounding axons. Proteolipid protein is an important component required for the structural integrity of myelin formation. A mutation in this gene has deleterious effects on myelin, as those seen in the human disease Pelizaeus Merzbacher. The jimpy mouse, which is devoid of proteolipid protein production, only accumulates myelin to approximately 5% of the normal value and shows degeneration of oligodendrocytes. This murine model has become essential in studying the function of the oligodendrocyte. Antisense cDNA made against the proteolipid protein strands blocks translation of the messenger RNA coding for proteolipid protein. This method will reveal the function of the proteolipid protein in the animal. Jimpy and normal animals were injected with antisense and evaluated for their effects on oligodendrocytes. Despite earlier success in cell culture studies, cell counts reveal that their is no significant change in the quantity of oligodendrocytes among those animals treated or untreated with antisense strands.