Normal oligodendrocytes were separated from 7-day-old mouse (BALB/c) brains by the Percoll gradient method. Immunohistochemical staining with an anti-galactocerebroside serum revealed that about 85% of the separated cells were oligodendrocytes. The oligodendrocytes were transplanted into the corpus striatum of 4-week-old shiverer mutant mice which are characterized by the lack of myelin basic protein (MBP). Myelination by the implanted oligodendrocytes was investigated immunohistochemically and electron microscopically 6 weeks after operation. Certain areas in the corpus striatum were intensely stained with antiserum to MBP. Electron microscopic examination showed that some axons were surrounded by normal type myelin sheaths with major dense lines. These results clearly indicate that matured oligodendrocytes are able to survive and myelinate the host axons even in the adult brain.
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