Neuregulin and erbB receptor expression in normal and diseased human white matter

Barbara Cannella, David Pitt, Mark Marchionni, Cedric S. Raine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Human white matter from non-neurologic cases, multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurologic diseases (OND, inflammatory and non-inflammatory), was subjected to immunocytochemistry and Western blotting for expression of the neuregulin, glial growth factor-2 (GGF2), and its receptors, erbB2, erbB3 and erbB4. GGF2 has previously been shown to have mitogenic effects upon oligodendrocytes in vitro and an enhancing effect upon remyelination in animals with autoimmune demyelination. In all types of human white matter examined, expression of the ligand GGF2 and its three receptors was consistently found on oligodendrocytes, with higher levels being seen in cases of MS. Expression was also seen, albeit at lower levels, on astrocytes and microglial cells, the latter most commonly in MS and OND. In human lymph node tissue, some lymphocytes were positive for erbB2, erbB3 and erbB4. Western blots confirmed the presence of all three receptors in normal, MS and OND white matter. GGF2 and erbB receptor expression did not correlate with areas of remyelination and reactivity occurred throughout the tissue, with some increase in intensity at the edge of MS lesions. Examination of precursor oligodendrocyte immunoreactivity (with anti-PDGF-Rα and NG2), revealed widespread expression throughout both normal and diseased white matter. The presence of GGF2 and its receptors on oligodendrocytes and lymphocytes render this cell type a candidate for functional signaling via this pathway, perhaps in relationship to myelinating activity. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-242
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroimmunology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Dec 1999


  • Human white matter
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Microglia
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuregulin
  • Oligodendrocyte
  • Western blotting
  • erbB receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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