Preferential expression of myelencephalon-specific protease by oligodendrocytes of the adult rat spinal cord white matter

Isobel A. Scarisbrick, Kuniko Asakura, Sachiko Blaber, Michael Blaber, Paul J. Isackson, Tom Bieto, Moses Rodriguez, Anthony J. Windebank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations


Myelencephalon-specific protease (MSP) is a novel serine protease that is expressed predominantly in the nervous system. In the adult rat spinal cord, MSP mRNA expression was dramatically upregulated, in both the white and gray matter, after systemic exposure to the glutamate receptor agonist, kainic acid (KA) (Scarisbrick et al. J Neurosci 17:8156-8168, 1997b). To determine the cell-specific expression patterns of MSP, we generated MSP-specific monoclonal antibodies. These have been used in immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization colocalization studies, to demonstrate that MSP mRNA and protein are produced predominantly by CNP-immunoreactive oligodendroglia, but not by GFAP-immunoreactive astrocytes, in the white matter of the normal adult cord. In vitro, the soma of oligodendrocytes were also densely MSP immunoreactive, as were their growth tips, while astrocytes were associated with lower levels. These findings suggest that the enzymatic activity of MSP is likely to be important in the biology of oligodendrocytes and/or in the maintenance of the nerve fiber tracts of the adult spinal cord. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-230
Number of pages12
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 25 2000



  • Astrocyte
  • Microglia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Myelin
  • Oligodendrocyte
  • Serine protease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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