We have recently demonstrated that the formation of myelin sheaths in the optic nerve of young postnatal mice deficient in the myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) is retarded when compared to age-matched wild-type mice. In the present study, we analyzed whether impaired myelination of retinal ganglion cell axons is detectable in adult MAG mutants. In optic nerves of 2- and 9-month-old MAG-deficient mice, we observed a significantly increased number of unmyelinated axons compared to age-matched wild-type mice. At both ages, unmyelinated axons in optic nerves of MAG mutants were of small caliber. The number of unmyelinated axons decreased significantly in 9- month-old MAG mutants when compared to 2-month-old MAG mutants, indicative of a slow and long-lasting myelination of axons in the mutant. Our observations support the view that MAG is involved in the initiation of myelination in the CNS.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Neurology
- Developmental Biology
- Knock out mutant
- Myelin-associated glycoprotein
- Optic nerve