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Costello syndrome (CS) is a gain of function Rasopathy caused by heterozygous activating mutations in the HRAS gene. Patients show brain dysfunction that can include abnormal brain white matter. Transgenic activation of HRas in the entire mouse oligodendrocyte lineage resulted in myelin defects and behavioral abnormalities, suggesting roles for disrupted myelin in CS brain dysfunction. Here we studied a mouse model in which the endogenous HRas gene is conditionally replaced by mutant HRasG12V in mature oligodendrocytes, to separate effects in mature myelinating cells from developmental events. Increased myelin thickness due to decompaction was detectable within one month of HRasG12V expression in the corpus callosum of adult mice. Increases in active ERK and Nitric Oxide (NO) were present in HRas mutants and inhibition of NO synthase (NOS) or MEK each partially rescued myelin decompaction. In addition, genetic or pharmacologic inhibition of Notch signaling improved myelin compaction. Complete rescue of myelin structure required dual drug treatments combining MAPK, NO or Notch inhibition; with MEK + NOS blockade producing the most robust effect. We suggest that individual or concomitant blockade of these pathways in Costello syndrome patients may improve aspects of brain function.


© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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