Age-induced decrease of glycoprotein Po and myelin basic protein gene expression in the rat sciatic nerve. Repair by steroid derivatives

R. C. Melcangi, V. Magnaghi, I. Cavarretta, L. Martini, F. Piva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The data here reported show that the gene expression of the glycoprotein Po and of the myelin basic protein, the major components of myelin in the peripheral nervous system, dramatically decreases with ageing in the sciatic nerve of normal male rats. A one-month treatment with dihydroprogesterone, the 5α-reduced derivative of progesterone, is able to partially restore the fall in Po gene expression occuring in the sciatic nerve of aged male rats, without significantly modifying the gene expression of the myelin basic protein. In cultures of neonatal Schwann cells (the peripheral nervous system elements involved in the synthesis of myelin), the addition of progesterone and of dihydroprogesterone significantly increases Po gene expression; the 3α-reduced metabolite of dihydroprogesterone, tetrahydroprogesterone proved to be even more effective. These data suggest that the effect of progesterone is linked to its conversion into dihydroprogesterone and especially into tetrahydroprogesterone, since Schwann cells possess the 5α-reductase-3α- hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase system. The data provide the first demonstration that ageing decreases the gene expression of two major components of the peripheral myelin in the sciatic nerve; they also show that this phenomenon may be partially reversed by progesterone derivatives, which might act by stimulating Po gene expression in the Schwann cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-578
Number of pages10
JournalNeuroscience
Volume85
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 8 1998

Keywords

  • Ageing
  • Glycoprotein Po
  • Metabolites
  • Myelin basic protein
  • Progesterone
  • Schwann cells
  • Sciatic nerve

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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