In tauopathies, overexpression of tau exon 10 is linked to degeneration and abnormal tau deposition in neurons and oligodendroglia (OLGs). To compare exon 10 expression in normal neurons and OLGs, adult bovine brain was examined for the expression of tau in gray matter and cultured OLGs isolated from white matter. Using exon-specific antibodies, we found that both types of tissues abundantly expressed exon 2 but isolated OLGs had a lower expression of exons 3 and 10 when compared to gray matter. Relative expression of exons 3 and 10 did not change significantly during the in vitro maturation of OLGs for 39 days. Using a panel of well-characterized antibodies against tau, we determined that isolated OLGs contained tau phosphorylated at the Tau-1, 12E8, and PHF-1 but not the AT8, AT100, AT180, and AT270 epitopes. Tau phosphorylation status diminished during in vitro maturation, suggesting that healthy OLG processes require regulated phosphorylation of tau at specific sites. We propose that the tau isoform profile and phosphorylation status contribute to the vulnerability of OLGs in degenerative diseases linked to overexpression of exon 10.
- Bovine brain
- Microtubule-associated protein tau
- Tau isoforms
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience