Direct visualization of membrane architecture of myelinating cells in transgenic mice expressing membrane-anchored EGFP

Yaqi Deng, Bongwoo Kim, Xuelian He, Sunja Kim, Changqing Lu, Haibo Wang, Ssang Goo Cho, Yiping Hou, Jianrong Li, Xianghui Zhao, Q. Richard Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Myelinogenesis is a complex process that involves substantial and dynamic changes in plasma membrane architecture and myelin interaction with axons. Highly ramified processes of oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS) make axonal contact and then extrapolate to wrap around axons and form multilayer compact myelin sheathes. Currently, the mechanisms governing myelin sheath assembly and axon selection by myelinating cells are not fully understood. Here, we generated a transgenic mouse line expressing the membrane-anchored green fluorescent protein (mEGFP) in myelinating cells, which allow live imaging of details of myelinogenesis and cellular behaviors in the nervous systems. mEGFP expression is driven by the promoter of 2'-3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase (CNP) that is expressed in the myelinating cell lineage. Robust mEGFP signals appear in the membrane processes of oligodendrocytes in the CNS and Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system (PNS), wherein mEGFP expression defines the inner layers of myelin sheaths and Schmidt-Lanterman incisures in adult sciatic nerves. In addition, mEGFP expression can be used to track the extent of remyelination after demyelinating injury in a toxin-induced demyelination animal model. Taken together, the membrane-anchored mEGFP expression in the new transgenic line would facilitate direct visualization of dynamic myelin membrane formation and assembly during development and process remodeling during remyelination after various demyelinating injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-349
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Developmental dynamics
  • Mammalian nervous system
  • Myelinogenesis
  • Spatiotemporal expression
  • Transgenic reporter
  • in vivo imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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