Hereditary neuropathy with liability to pressure palsies (HNPP) is associated with a deletion in chromosome 17p11.2, including the gene for the peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP-22). Because of the proposal that a decreased dosage of the PMP-22 gene was the cause of HNPP, we evaluated sural nerves from eight patients with the 17p11.2 deletion and from five normal controls. The relative amount of PMP-22 mRNA was significantly lower in HNPP patients compared with normal controls (p < 0.02) using a semiquantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. There was no significant decrease of P(o) mRNA. Sural nerves from HNPP patients showed normal immunostaining with monoclonal antibodies against PMP-22, P(o), and myelin basic protein, and only rare myelinated fibers, classified as 'tomacula,' showed a patchy staining of the compact myelin with monoclonal antibody against PMP-22. The significant underexpression of PMP-22 mRNA in HNPP patients compared with normal controls demonstrates that a decreased dosage of the PMP-22 gene is the most likely pathogenetic mechanism in HNPP.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology