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Title: Phenotypic analysis of the Plp1 gene overexpressing mouse model #72 : implications for demyelination and remyelination failure
Author: Gruenenfelder, Fredrik Ingemar
ISNI:       0000 0004 2716 9084
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2012
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Duplication of the proteolipid protein (PLP1) gene, which encodes the most abundant protein of central nervous system (CNS) myelin, is the most common cause of Pelizaeus Merzbacher disease (PMD). Various animal models have been generated to study the effect of Plp1 gene overexpression on oligodendrocyte and myelin sheath integrity. The #72 line harbours 3 additional copies of the murine Plp1 gene per haploidic chromosomal set. Homozygous #72 mice appear phenotypically normal until three months of age, after which they develop seizures leading to premature death at around 4 months of age. An earlier study examining the optic nerve showed a progressive demyelination accompanied by marked microglial and astrocytic responses. Using electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry, I demonstrated that initial myelination of the #72 corpus callosum was followed by a progressive demyelination, probably mediated by a distal “dying back” phenomenon of the myelin sheath. No evidence of effective remyelination was observed despite the presence and proliferation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs). A marked increase in density and reactivity of microglia/macrophages and astrocytes, and the occurrence of axonal swellings, accompanied the demyelination. In situ and in vitro evaluation of adult #72 OPCs provided evidence of impaired OPC differentiation. Transplantation of neurospheres (NS) into adult #72 mouse corpus callosum confirmed that axons were capable of undergoing remyelination. Furthermore, NS transplanted into neonatal CNS integrated into the parenchyma and survived up to 120 days, demonstrating the potential of early cell replacement therapy. Taking advantage of the spatially distinct pathologies between the retinal and chiasmal region of the #72 optic nerve, I evaluated the capability of diffusion weighted MRI to identify lesion type. I found significant differences between #72 and wild type optic nerves, as well as between the two distinct pathological regions within the #72 optic nerve. These results confirm the potential of the #72 mouse to serve as a model to study chronic demyelination. The study also demonstrates the utility of the #72 mouse to evaluate cell transplant strategies for the treatment of chronic CNS white matter lesions and PMD. Additionally, DW MRI has potential as a modality capable of diagnosing myelin-related white matter changes, and may be applicable to the clinical setting.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RB Pathology ; RZ Other systems of medicine ; RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry