Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Myelin accelerates stimuli: Shedding light on the mechanisms of myelin formation in the central nervous system

10.07.2008
To allow nerve cells to transmit information efficiently over long distances, advanced life forms have developed a mechanism known as saltatory conduction.

This is made possible by an insulating sheath of myelin that forms at certain intervals around the axonal extensions of nerve cells that specialize in the transmission of stimuli. In disorders such as multiple sclerosis or leukodystrophy, the formation or function of the myelin is disturbed.

Previously, the molecular mechanisms of myelin formation were not well understood. Two projects undertaken by the Department of Molecular Cell Biology of the Faculty of Biology at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz have now made a significant contribution towards understanding these complex cellular processes.

In simple terms, signals transmitted during saltatory conduction jump from one non-myelinated area (the nodes of Ranvier) to another, which enormously increases the speed of transmission. Myelin is formed in the central nervous system when oligodendrocytes - a specific type of brain cell - wrap their cellular extensions around the axons of the nerve cells several times, thus forming a compact stack of cellular membranes. The team of scientists under Professor Jacqueline Trotter from the Mainz Department of Molecular Cell Biology have now been able to show which mechanisms contribute towards the formation of an intact myelin sheath and how the nerve cells control the place and time of myelin production.

... more about:
»Cell »Central »Myelin »formation »mechanism

Reported in a paper published in the Journal of Cell Science was the fact that an endocytic myelin protein recycling system is important for the specific formation of myelin domains. During this process, proteins are first transported to the surface of the cells. They are then reabsorbed into the cell by means of endocytosis and sorted into various membrane domains, which subsequently return to the cell surface. This 'membrane conversion' appears to be necessary for the correct formation of an intact myelin sheath.

Also reported in the prestigious Journal of Cell Biology was the discovery of a new transmission pathway, which originates with the interaction between a neuronal and oligodendroglial surface molecule, involves the activation of the signal molecule essential for myelinization and leads to the local translation of a main myelin protein into an oligodendrocyte. These results have opened up the possibility of developing a new technique of influencing nerve cells and determining where and when myelin is to be synthesized, while also demonstrating the significant role played by both types of cell in the formation of a basis for efficient stimulus transmission within the central nervous system.

Prof. Dr. Jacqueline Trotter | alfa
Further information:
http://www.uni-mainz.de
http://www.uni-mainz.de/FB/Biologie/Molekulare-Zellbiologie/research.php

Further reports about: Cell Central Myelin formation mechanism

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers invent tiny, light-powered wires to modulate brain's electrical signals

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

The “Holy Grail” of peptide chemistry: Making peptide active agents available orally

21.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Atomic structure of ultrasound material not what anyone expected

21.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>