Peripheral neuropathy in mice transgenic for a human MDR3 P-glycoprotein mini-gene.


We have generated mice transgenic for a human MDR3 mini-gene, under control of a hamster vimentin promoter. Expression of the MDR3 transgene was found in mesenchymal tissues, peripheral nerves, and the eye lens. These MDR3 transgenic mice have a slowed motor nerve conduction and dysmyelination of their peripheral nerves. An extensive dysmyelination in some transgenic strains results in a severe peripheral neuropathy with paresis of the hind legs. How expression of the MDR3 transgene causes these abnormalities is unknown. The MDR3 gene encodes a large glycosylated plasma membrane protein with multiple transmembrane spanning domains, which are involved in the translocation of the phospholipid phosphatidylcholine through the hepatocyte canalicular membrane. The ability of the MDR3 P-glycoprotein to alter phsopholipid distribution in the plasma membrane of Schwann cells may cause the damage. It is also possible, however, that the presence of a large glycoprotein in the cell membrane may be sufficient to severely disturb myelination of peripheral nerves.

More about this publication

The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
  • Volume 16
  • Issue nr. 20
  • Pages 6386-93
  • Publication date 15-10-1996

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