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Keywords:

  • CNS;
  • Golli–Mbp gene;
  • embryogenesis;
  • myelin;
  • microglia

Abstract

The myelin basic protein gene (Mbp) encodes for the major myelin structural proteins and it is included in the Golli–Mbp gene complex. Previously, we observed MBP-like proteins in the human central nervous system (CNS) at developmental stages preceding myelination. In an effort to distinguish between Golli (HOG5 and HOG7) and MBP mRNAs and to determine their spatiotemporal distribution, we performed in situ hybridization using two human Golli specific probes: one corresponding to exon 5a absent from all MBP transcripts, and the other corresponding to exon 5c specific for HOG5. HOG7 transcript was observed first, in 5 gestational week-old embryos, whereas both Golli transcripts were detected at 6–7 weeks gestation in the proliferative zones of the entire CNS. Golli proteins immunoreactivity was observed in microglia and early neurons of the developing telencephalon. During midgestation (17–22 weeks gestation), at the onset of myelination, MBP and Golli mRNAs were observed in the telencephalic subventricular zone and occasionally in the future cerebral cortex. Developmental expression of the human Golli–Mbp indicates that the two Golli proteins have different onset of expression, distribution and possibly function. These results support the hypothesis that at least one of them, HOG7, may be involved in the regulation of early neurogenesis, while both may have additional, still undefined function at the onset of myelination. GLIA 37:219–228, 2002. © 2002 Wiley-Liss, Inc.