The myelin basic protein (MBP) gene produces two families of proteins, the classic MBPs, important for myelination of the CNS, and the golli proteins, whose biological role in oligodendrocytes (OLs) is still unknown. The goals of this work were to study the in vitro pattern of expression of the golli products during OL differentiation and to compare it with that of the classic MBP products of the gene. Mouse primary glial cultures were analyzed at the mRNA and protein levels with an array of techniques. We found that OLs express golli mRNA primarily during intermediate stages of differentiation, which was confirmed by immunocytochemical analysis. Golli expression was low in proliferating OL progenitors as well as in terminally mature OLs. Golli proteins were found associated with the OL cell soma and nuclei and, to a lesser extent, with the cellular processes. We also found that golli proteins are not targeted to myelin in vitro and in vivo, in contrast to the classic MBPs. Finally, we found that golli expression is regulated during OL development and can be manipulated by growth factors such as basic fibroblast growth factor, neurotrophin-3, and retinoic acid. J. Neurosci. Res. 66:679–690, 2001. © 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.