Levels of Proteolipid Protein mRNAs in Peripheral Nerve Are Not Under Stringent Axonal Control

Sanjoy K. Gupta, Joan Pringle, Joseph F. Poduslo, Catherine Mezei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Abstract: The proteolipid protein (PLP) is the major protein in the myelin sheath of the CNS. It was recently reported that PLP coding transcripts are also found in the PNS, although the protein was not detectable in peripheral nerve myelin. In the present investigation, levels of mRNA for PLP in sciatic nerve were studied during development and following transection and crush injury. Results were compared to those for P0, the major PNS myelin protein, and the myelin‐associated glycoprotein (MAG). PLP transcript levels were very low at 21 days in sciatic nerve and remained unchanged in the adult sciatic nerve. This contrasts markedly with P0 and MAG mRNAs, which are expressed at high levels during development and decrease in content significantly by adulthood. The level of PLP messages was reduced ∼40% in the quiescent Schwann cells in the distal segment of the sciatic nerve at 21 days after permanent transection, yet P0 mRNA levels were very low, and MAG mRNAs were undetectable in this tissue. The distal segment of the crush‐injured sciatic nerve is characterized by transient demyelination followed by rapid myelination. PLP mRNA levels remained comparatively unaffected in the 3‐week period following crush injury. RNase protection experiments using two antisense riboprobes confirmed that levels of PLP‐derived protected fragments, corresponding to PLP and DM‐20 messages, remained unchanged in the developing and adult sciatic nerve. These results indicate that myelin‐specific P0 and MAG genes are tightly controlled at the level of transcription through Schwann cell‐axonal interactions, whereas PLP transcription in the peripheral nerve remains nearly dissociated from axonal influences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1754-1762
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of neurochemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1991


  • Development
  • Myelin protein
  • Myelin‐associated glycoprotein
  • P
  • PNS
  • Proteolipid protein
  • Regeneration
  • Sciatic nerve
  • mRNA expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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