Jimpy is a shortened life-span murine mutant showing recessive sex-linked inheritance. The genetic defect consists of a point mutation in the PLP gene and produces a severe CNS myelin deficiency that is associated with a variety of complex abnormalities affecting all glial populations. The myelin deficiency is primarily due to a failure to produce the normal amount of myelin during development. However, myelin destruction and oligodendrocyte death also account for the drastic myelin deficit observed in jimpy. The oligodendroglial cell line shows complex abnormalities in its differentiation pattern, including the degeneration of oligodendrocytes through an apoptotic mechanism. Oligodendrocytes seem to be the most likely candidate to be primarily altered in a disorder affecting myelination, but disturbances affecting astrocytes and microglia are also remarkable and may have a crucial significance in the development of the jimpy disorder. In fact, the jimpy phenotype may not be attributed to a defect in a single cell but rather to a deficiency in the normal relations between glial cells. Evidences from a variety of sources indicate that the jimpy mutant could be a model for disturbed glial development in the CNS. The accurate knowledge of the significance of PLP and its regulation during development must be of vital importance in order to understand glial abnormalities in jimpy.