Myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG) has currently been proposed to be a possible igniter of myelination in the central nervous system. We propose here that myelin basic protein (MBP) is prerequisite, which is more diffusely expressed than MAG in early stages of myelination. MBP-deficient mice show significant reduction of MAG-positive immature oligodendroglia at early stages of myelination, although significant increase of such cells is noted in the adult. MBP/Fyn-double deficient adult mice also show moderate increase of the same type of immature glia, but to a lesser degree than MBP-deficiency alone. The present study suggests that MBP is required for the regulation of MAG expression in oligodendroglia, involving Fyn therein. We discuss the possibility that hitherto unknown molecule, not MAG, may be in responsible for the ignition of the myelination.
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