Expression of the proteolipid protein gene in glial cells of the post-natal peripheral nervous system of rodents

I. R. Griffiths, Peter J Dickinson, P. Montague

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The proteolipid protein (PLP) gene encodes for two proteins, PLP and DM-20, which are produced by alternative splicing of exon 3B, PLP is the major CNS myelin protein and is postulated to play a structural role at the intraperiod line. Its developmental expression mirrors that of CNS myelination. DM-20 predominates in the embryo and prior to myelination of the CNS and may be involved in glial cell development. The PLP gene is expressed in the PNS in which DM-20 is the predominant isoform at all ages. In this study we describe the localization of the two isoforms in the post-natal rodent PNS using immunostaining and reverse transcriptase PCR. DM-20 is present in relatively high abundance in non-myelin-forming Schwann cells and within cytoplasmic regions of myelinated internodes, particularly the paranodes and Schmidt-Lanterman incisures and also the outer Schwann cytoplasm and perinuclear cytoplasm. DM-20 is also located in the perineuronal satellite cells of spinal, cranial and autonomic ganglia and in the ensheathing cells of the olfactory nerve layer of the olfactory bulb. PLP was detected by immunocytochemistry in the perinuclear region of myelinated internodes; PCR analysis indicated small amounts of PLP mRNA in the other locations but protein was not detected by immunostaining. Neither protein was identified in compact myelin of the PNS. DM-20 is the predominant product of the PLP gene expressed in a wide variety of peripheral glia. Its presence is not correlated to a myelin-forming state. Other studies have demonstrated early embryonic expression of the PLP gene throughout the PNS and all these features support the hypothesis that any putative role for DM-20 is unrelated to myelination but may involve glial cell development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-110
Number of pages14
JournalNeuropathology and Applied Neurobiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • DM-20
  • Peripheral nervous system
  • Proteolipid protein
  • Schwann cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Expression of the proteolipid protein gene in glial cells of the post-natal peripheral nervous system of rodents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this