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The signals that determine whether axons are ensheathed or myelinated by Schwann cells have long been elusive. We now report that threshold levels of neuregulin-1 (NRG1) type III on axons determine their ensheathment fate. Ensheathed axons express low levels whereas myelinated fibers express high levels of NRG1 type III. Sensory neurons from NRG1 type III(More)
Myelinated fibers are organized into distinct domains that are necessary for saltatory conduction. These domains include the nodes of Ranvier and the flanking paranodal regions where glial cells closely appose and form specialized septate-like junctions with axons. These junctions contain a Drosophila Neurexin IV-related protein, Caspr/Paranodin (NCP1).(More)
We have investigated the potential role of contactin and contactin-associated protein (Caspr) in the axonal-glial interactions of myelination. In the nervous system, contactin is expressed by neurons, oligodendrocytes, and their progenitors, but not by Schwann cells. Expression of Caspr, a homologue of Neurexin IV, is restricted to neurons. Both contactin(More)
The entire length of myelinated axons is organized into a series of polarized domains that center around nodes of Ranvier. These domains, which are crucial for normal saltatory conduction, consist of distinct multiprotein complexes of cell adhesion molecules, ion channels, and scaffolding molecules; they also differ in their diameter, organelle content, and(More)
The myelin sheath forms by the spiral wrapping of a glial membrane around an axon. The mechanisms involved are poorly understood but are likely to involve coordinated changes in the glial cell cytoskeleton. Because of its key role as a regulator of the cytoskeleton, we investigated the role of Rho kinase (ROCK), a major downstream effector of Rho, in(More)
Rapid conduction in myelinated axons depends on the generation of specialized subcellular domains to which different sets of ion channels are localized. Here, we describe the identification of Caspr2, a mammalian homolog of Drosophila Neurexin IV (Nrx-IV), and show that this neurexin-like protein and the closely related molecule Caspr/Paranodin demarcate(More)
We show that GGF/neuregulin is a mitogen for prooligodendrocytes (O4+/O1- cells), oligodendrocytes (O4+/O1+ cells), and type-2 astrocytes. Heregulin beta 1, another neuregulin isoform, is also mitogenic. The proliferative effect of glial growth factor (GGF) does not require, but is greatly potentiated by, serum factors. GGF also promotes the survival of(More)
Specialized paranodal junctions form between the axon and the closely apposed paranodal loops of myelinating glia. They are interposed between sodium channels at the nodes of Ranvier and potassium channels in the juxtaparanodal regions; their precise function and molecular composition have been elusive. We previously reported that Caspr(More)
The node of Ranvier is a distinct domain of myelinated axons that is highly enriched in sodium channels and is critical for impulse propagation. During development, the channel subtypes expressed at the node undergo a transition from Nav1.2 to Nav1.6. Specialized junctions that form between the paranodal glial membranes and axon flank the nodes and are(More)
In this paper the stimuli for and pattern of Schwann cell proliferation are defined under various experimental conditions. We used a tissue culture system in which fetal rat dorsal root ganglia, treated to eliminate contaminating fibroblasts (Wood, P., 1976, Brain Res. 115:361--375), appear to recapitulate many aspects of the developing peripheral nervous(More)