CNP (2’, 3’-Cyclic Nucleotide 3’-Phosophodiesterase) has two isoforms, CNPase1 (46kDa) and CNPase2 (48kDa), which are encoded separately by different promoters of the same gene. CNP is found in high levels in the brain and peripheral nerve, almost exclusively in oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells. CNP is the third most abundant protein found in the central nervous system myelin. It is found early in oligodendrocyte development and continues to be found in adult animals. It may play a role in RNA metabolism in the myelinating cell. CNP antibody can be used as a marker for oligodendrocyte and Schwann cells. CNP levels have been found to greatly reduced in various diseases, neurological mutant and in experimental conditions in which myelin is reduced. Additionally, reduced CNP brain levels have been reported in Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease.
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