, Volume 338, Issue 2, pp 161-170
Date: 02 Oct 2009

Novel conserved oligodendrocyte surface epitope identified by monoclonal antibody 4860

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Abstract

Oligodendrocytes are the myelinating cells of the central nervous system. They differentiate from oligodendrocyte precursor cells through several intermediate states that can be followed by characteristic morphological changes and the expression of marker molecules. However, most oligodendrocyte lineage markers demarcate either the precursor or the differentiated oligodendrocyte in restricted subcellular compartments. Here, we describe a novel marker of the oligodendrocyte lineage recognised by the monoclonal antibody clone 4860. It selectively labels the surfaces of differentiated oligodendrocytes in culture and clearly differs from other oligodendrocyte markers. Importantly, the 4860 epitope highlights developing white matter tracts in rodent and avian brains and thus represents a useful and conserved feature. The 4860 epitope is not associated with protein backbones as revealed by the related 487/L5 antibody. Furthermore, the epitope disappears upon lipid extraction from cryosections or inhibition of sphingolipid synthesis in cultured oligodendrocytes. Thus, we conclude that mAb 4860 represents a novel lipid-based oligodendrocyte marker.

Grant support by the Federal Ministry of Education, Research and Technology is gratefully acknowledged (BMBF program “Stem cells for therapies of the CNS”, grant 01GN0504 to AF). Tim Czopka and Eva Hennen were recipients of a graduate training stipend from the International Graduate School of Neuroscience (IGSN) of the Ruhr University, funded by the State of Nordrhein-Westfalen, during part of this study.