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

Lysophosphatidic acid receptor gene vzg-1/lpA1/edg-2 is expressed by mature oligodendrocytes during myelination in the postnatal murine brain.

The growth-factor-like phospholipid lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) mediates a wide variety of biological functions. We recently reported the cloning of the first G-protein-coupled receptor for LPA, called ventricular zone gene-1 (vzg-1/lpA1/edg-2) because its embryonic central nervous system (CNS) expression is restricted to the neocortical ventricular zone (Hecht et al. [1996] J. Cell Biol. 135:1071-1083). Vzg-1 neural expression diminishes at the end of the cortical neurogenetic period, just before birth. Here, we have investigated the subsequent reappearance of vzg-1 expression in the postnatal murine brain, by using in situ hybridization and northern blot analyses. Vzg-1 expression was undetectable by in situ hybridization at birth, but reappeared in the hindbrain during the 1st postnatal week. Subsequently, expression expanded from caudal to rostral, with peak expression observed around postnatal day 18. At all postnatal ages, vzg-1 expression was concentrated in and around developing white matter tracts, and its expansion, peak, and subsequent downregulation closely paralleled the progress of myelination. Double-label in situ hybridization studies demonstrated that vzg-1- expressing cells co-expressed mRNA encoding proteolipid protein (PLP), a mature oligodendrocyte marker, but not glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), an astrocyte marker. Consistent with this, vzg-1 mRNA expression was reduced by 40% in the brains of jimpy mice, which exhibit aberrant oligodendrocyte differentiation and cell death. Together with our characterization of vzg-1 during cortical neurogenesis, these data suggest distinct pre- and postnatal roles for LPA in the development of neurons and oligodendrocytes and implicate lysophospholipid signaling as a potential regulator of myelination.[1]


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