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Morphological And Electrophysiological Signs Of Dysmyelination In Transgenic Mice Expressing CMT1B (MPZ  DELSer34) or DSS (MPZ  Ser34Cys) Mutations

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Charcot-Marie-Tooth 1B neuropathy (CMT1B), Déjèrine-Sottas syndrome (DSS) and Congenital Hypomyelination are each associated with mutations in MPZ, encoding P0 glycoprotein, the major structural protein of peripheral nerve myelin. To explore whether new abnormal functions of mutant MPZ can explain this phenotypic diversity, we expressed either of two MPZ mutations: DELSer34 (causing CMT1B) or Ser34Cys (causing DSS) in addition to the two normal endogeneous copies of Mpz in transgenic mice. We have shown previously that overexpression of wild type Mpz causes dose-dependent dysmyelination. However, multiple lines of mice containing the MPZ mutants showed not only hypomyelination, but also abnormalities in myelin sheaths and onion bulbs that were never observed in Mpz overexpressor mice. To create a mouse model of CMT1B with no Mpz overexpression, one line of DELSer34 that expresses mutant Mpz at levels similar to one wildtype Mpz allele was crossed with heterozygous Mpz knock-out mice, to obtain the genotype Mpzwt/−/MpzDELSer34. These mice manifest progressive peripheral neuropathy with hypomyelination, and onion bulbs that appear around 6 months of age. As a first step towards longitudinal studies of phenotype, we performed detailed neurophysiological analyses at 12 months of age. We found signs of demyelination, with statistically significant increases of both motor latency after proximal stimulation and F-wave latencies, and decreases in both motor and mixed afferent nerve conduction velocities of sciatic nerve. The motor response was polyphasic and there was a trend towards reduced CMAP amplitudes. Thus, the clinical onset and progression, pathological features and neurophysiological findings provide a reasonable model of CMT1B. Longitudinal studies to correlate the onset and progression of morphological and electrophysiological abnormalities in these mice are ongoing.
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Document Type: Abstract

Affiliations: San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milano, Italy

Publication date: March 1, 2001

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