Myelinated fibers in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1B with Arg98His mutation of Po protein

J Neurol Sci. 1999 Dec 15;171(2):97-109. doi: 10.1016/s0022-510x(99)00257-9.


This study was undertaken to characterize the clinical, electrophysiologic, and histopathologic features of five presumably unrelated Japanese patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease type 1B and Arg98His substitution of Po protein and, in particular, to correlate Arg98His substitution to the ultrastructural abnormalities of the myelin sheath. Systematic morphometric studies of the sural nerve, where the CMT type 1B gene abnormality is expressed, have not been performed, especially on the basis of the type of mutation causing CMT type 1B. Electrophysiologic evaluation of limb nerves and morphometric analysis of sural nerves obtained at biopsy were performed. Ultrastructural myelin abnormalities were precisely examined. Clinical symptoms appeared from the second to the fifth decade. All probands presented with gait disturbance. Motor and sensory conduction velocities in the median and ulnar nerves ranged from 10 to 30 m/s. Segmental demyelination and remyelination and marked loss of myelinated fibers were the main findings. On electron microscopy, widening between major dense lines was found between the paired intraperiod lines, where the extramembranous portion of the Po protein resides. This widening is probably directly related to Arg98His substitution. Focal uncompaction of major dense lines coexisted with this widening. This uncompaction, which directly decreases the number of myelin lamellae, may be a secondary effect of Arg98His substitution on the intramembranous domain of Po protein. In conclusion, myelin changes at both extracellular and cytoplasmic appositions of Schwann cell membranes were found in association with Arg98His substitution of Po protein. This study contributes to a better understanding of myelin abnormalities in patients with CMT type 1B and Arg98His or other similar extramembranous amino acid substitutions of Po protein.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arginine
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease / genetics*
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease / pathology
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Histidine
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myelin P0 Protein / genetics*
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / pathology*
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / ultrastructure
  • Neural Conduction / physiology
  • Pedigree
  • Point Mutation / genetics


  • Myelin P0 Protein
  • Histidine
  • Arginine