Sex chromosome complement influences functional callosal myelination

S. Moore, R. Patel, G. Hannsun, J. Yang, S. K. Tiwari-Woodruff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


In addition to androgen differences between males and females, there are genetic differences that are caused by unequal dosage of sex chromosome genes. Using the cuprizone-induced demyelination model, we recently showed that surgical gonadectomy of adult mice resulted in decreased normal myelination and remyelination compared to gonadally intact animals, suggesting a supporting role for sex hormones in the maintenance of myelination. However, inherent sex differences in normal myelination and remyelination persisted even after gonadectomy, with males consistently remyelinating to a lesser extent relative to normal myelination as assayed by axon conduction and immunohistochemistry. This suggests a potential role for the sex chromosome complement in mediating the differential rates of remyelination observed in males and females. The present study focuses on the impact that sex chromosomes might have on these myelination differences. Making use of the four core-genotype mice and cuprizone-diet induced demyelination/remyelination paradigm, our results demonstrate sex chromosome-mediated asymmetry between XX and XY mice. The rate of functional remyelination following cuprizone diet-induced callosal demyelination in four core-genotype mice is attenuated in XY compared to XX animals of both gonadal sexes. Importantly, this difference arises only in the absence of circulating sex hormones following gonadectomy and confirms the role of sex hormones in the remyelination process reported earlier by our group. Because a genotype-mediated difference only arises following gonadectomy, the chromosomal contribution to myelination and remyelination is subtle yet significant. To explain this difference, we propose a possible asymmetry in the expression of myelination-related genes in XX vs. XY mice that needs to be investigated in future studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-178
Number of pages13
StatePublished - Aug 5 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Compound action potential
  • Corpus callosum
  • Cuprizone demyelination
  • Four core genotype
  • Oligodendrocytes
  • Remyelination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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