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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Perineuronal oligodendrocytes protect against neuronal apoptosis through the production of lipocalin-type prostaglandin D synthase in a genetic demyelinating model.

The genetic demyelinating mouse "twitcher" is a model of the human globoid cell leukodystrophy, caused by galactosylceramidase ( GALC) deficiency. Demyelination in the twitcher brain is secondary to apoptotic death of oligodendrocytes (OLs). Lipocalin-type prostaglandin (PG) D synthase (L-PGDS), a protein expressed in mature OLs, was progressively upregulated in twitcher OLs; whereas expression of OL-associated proteins such as carbonic anhydrase II, myelin basic protein, and myelin-associated glycoprotein was downregulated during demyelination in twitcher brains. The upregulation of L-PGDS was more remarkable in perineuronal OLs than in interfascicular OLs. A larger number of L-PGDS-positive OLs was found in selected fiber tracts of twitcher brains where fewer apoptotic cells were detected. The distribution of L-PGDS-positive OLs was inversely related to the severity of demyelination, as assessed by accumulation of scavenger macrophages. Mice doubly deficient for L-PGDS and GALC disclosed a large number of apoptotic neurons, which were never seen in twitcher brains, in addition to an increased number of apoptotic OLs. A linear positive correlation was observed between the population of L-PGDS-positive OLs in the twitcher brain and the ratio of apoptotic nuclei in the double mutant versus those in the twitcher, suggesting a dose-dependent effect of L-PGDS against apoptosis. These lines of evidence suggest that L-PGDS is an anti-apoptotic molecule protecting neurons and OLs from apoptosis in the twitcher mouse. This is a novel example of OL-neuronal interaction.[1]


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