, 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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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.