Upregulation of the stress-associated gene p8 in mouse models of demyelination and in multiple sclerosis tissues

Sheila R. Plant, Ying Wang, Sophie Vasseur, J. Cameron Thrash, Eileen J. McMahon, Daniel T. Bergstralh, Heather A. Arnett, Stephen D. Miller, Monica J. Carson, Juan L. Iovanna, Jenny P.Y. Ting*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Cuprizone-induced demyelination is a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS) as cuprizone-fed mice exhibit neuroinflammation and demyelination in the brain. Upon removal of cuprizone from the diet, inflammation is resolved and reparative remyelination occurs. In an Affymetrix Gene-Chip analysis, the stress-associated gene p8 was strongly upregulated (>10×) during cuprizone-induced demyelination but not remyelination. We verified this upregulation (>15×) of p8 in the CNS during demyelination by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). This upregulation is brain-specific, as p8 is not elevated in the liver, lung, kidney, spleen, and heart of cuprizone-treated mice. We also localized the cellular source of p8 during cuprizone treatment, and further found elevated expression during embryogenesis but not in normal adult brain. Compared with wild-type controls, the death of oligodendrocytes in p8-/- mice is delayed, as is microglial recruitment to areas of demyelination. The corpus callosum of p8-/- mice demyelinates at a slower rate than wild-type mice, suggesting that p8 exacerbates CNS inflammation and demyelination. Enhanced expression of p8 is also observed in the spinal cords of mice with acute experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) induced by PLP139-151 peptide (10×). Increased expression is detected during disease onset and expression wanes during the remission phase. Finally, p8 is found upregulated (8×) in post-mortem tissue from MS patients and is higher in the plaque tissue compared with adjacent normal-appearing white and gray matter. Thus, p8 is an excellent candidate as a novel biomarker of demyelination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)529-537
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - Apr 1 2006


  • Biomarker
  • Cuprizone
  • EAE
  • Glia
  • Multiple sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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