MAG-deficient schwann cells myelinate dorsal root ganglion neurons in culture

Stefano Carenini, Dirk Montag, Melitta Camartin, Rudolf Martini

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15 Scopus citations


The myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) has been postulated to play a crucial role during myelin formation. Evidence supporting this hypothesis was provided by infecting rat Schwann cells with a retrovirus expressing MAG antisense RNA; these Schwann cells showed reduced levels of MAG expression and failed to myelinate DRG neurons in vitro. However, when MAG expression was disrupted by generating MAG-deficient mice, normal myelin sheaths were formed in peripheral nerves in vivo. In the present study we investigated whether myelination is compromised in MAG-deficient Schwann cells in vitro, i.e., under similar conditions where Schwann cells expressing MAG antisense RNA failed to myelinate. We show that MAG-deficient Schwann cells do myelinate DRG neurons in vitro and express the myelin-specific glycolipid galactocerebroside (Gal-C) and the myelin proteins P0 and MBP. Furthermore, myelin sheaths appear morphologically normal with both compacted and uncompacted aspects when investigated by electron microscopy. Quantitative analysis revealed that the number of myelin sheaths was similar in cultures from MAG-deficient and wild-type mice. These findings support the view that MAG is not essential for myelin formation in the PNS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-220
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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