The present article summarizes our data regarding: (a) the effect of sex steroids on the expression of a specific astrocytic marker in glial cell cultures (GFAP); (b) the effects of aging on two markers of the peripheral myelin (glycoprotein Po and the myelin basic protein, MBP); (c) the possible modification of the damaging effects of aging on these two markers by the in vivo administration of progesterone and its derivatives; and, finally, (d) the effect of progesterone derivatives on the gene expression of Po in cultures of rat Schwannn cells. The data obtained have indicated that progesterone and its 5α-reduced metabolites may play an important role in the control of gene expression of GFAP and Po, respectively, in type 1 astrocytes and Schwann cells. It has also been found that the gene expression of Po and MBP is dramatically decreased in the myelin of the sciatic nerve of aged male rats and that the aged-linked decrease of the gene expression of Po is partially reversible with steroid treatment.
- Nervous system
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