Disruption of paranodal axo–glial interaction and/or absence of sulfatide causes irregular type I inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor deposition in cerebellar Purkinje neuron axons

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Paranodal axo–glial junctions (PNJs) play an essential role in the organization and maintenance of molecular domains in myelinated axons. To understand the importance of PNJs better, we investigated cerebroside sulfotransferase (CST; a sulfatide synthetic enzyme)-deficient mice, which partially lack PNJs in both the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). Previously, we reported that axonal mitochondria at the nodes of Ranvier in the PNS were large and swollen in CST-deficient mice. Although we did not observed significant defects in the nodal regions in several areas of the CNS, myelinated internodal regions showed many focal swellings in Purkinje cell axons in the cerebellum, and the number and the size of swellings increased with age. In the present analysis of various stages of the swellings in 4–12-week-old mutant mice, calbindin-positive axoplasm swellings started to appear at an early stage. After that, accumulation of neurofilament and mitochondria gradually increased, whereas deposition of amyloid precursor protein became prominent later. Ultrastructural analysis showed accumulations of tubular structures closely resembling smooth endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Staining of cerebellar sections of the mutant mice for type I inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (IP3R1) revealed high immunoreactivity within the swellings. This IP3R1 deposition was the initial change and was not observed in development prior to the onset of myelination. This suggests that local calcium regulation through ER was involved in these axonal swellings. Therefore, in addition to the biochemical composition of the internodal myelin sheath, PNJs might also affect maintenance of axonal homeostasis in Purkinje cells. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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