Abstract: Myelin basic protein (MBP), a major protein of myelin, is thought to play an important role in myelination, which occurs postnatally in mouse. Here we report that the MBP gene is expressed from the 12th embryonic day in mouse brain and that most of the predominant embryonic isoforms are not those reported previously. These isoforms have a deletion of a sequence encoded by exon 5 from the well-known isoforms. These isoforms show a unique developmental profile, i.e., they peak in the embryonic stage and decrease thereafter. In jimpy, a dysmyelinating mutant, the level of these isoforms remains high even in the older ages. These results suggest that MBPs have heretofore unknown functions unrelated to myelination before myelinogenesis begins. The possible presence of 18 isoforms of MBP mRNA, which are classified into at least three groups with different developmental profiles, is also reported here.