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We show that beta forms of Neu differentiation factor (NDF), homologous to acetylcholine receptor-inducing activity, glial growth factor, and heregulin, prevent apoptotic death and stimulate DNA synthesis of the E14 Schwann cell precursor, an early cell in the rat Schwann cell lineage. When precursors are exposed to NDF in defined medium, they generate(More)
Dedifferentiation of myelinating Schwann cells is a key feature of nerve injury and demyelinating neuropathies. We review recent evidence that this dedifferentiation depends on activation of specific intracellular signaling molecules that drive the dedifferentiation program. In particular, we discuss the idea that Schwann cells contain negative(More)
Schwann cell myelination depends on Krox-20/Egr2 and other promyelin transcription factors that are activated by axonal signals and control the generation of myelin-forming cells. Myelin-forming cells remain remarkably plastic and can revert to the immature phenotype, a process which is seen in injured nerves and demyelinating neuropathies. We report that(More)
Schwann cells develop from the neural crest in a well-defined sequence of events. This involves the formation of the Schwann cell precursor and immature Schwann cells, followed by the generation of the myelin and nonmyelin (Remak) cells of mature nerves. This review describes the signals that control the embryonic phase of this process and the organogenesis(More)
Notch signaling is central to vertebrate development, and analysis of Notch has provided important insights into pathogenetic mechanisms in the CNS and many other tissues. However, surprisingly little is known about the role of Notch in the development and pathology of Schwann cells and peripheral nerves. Using transgenic mice and cell cultures, we found(More)
In the present paper, we determine the localization and developmental regulation of N-cadherin in embryonic rat nerves and examine the role of N-cadherin in this system. We also identify a major transition in the architecture of embryonic nerves and relating it to N-cadherin expression. We find that in early embryonic nerves, N-cadherin is primarily(More)
During development, Schwann cell numbers are precisely adjusted to match the number of axons. It is essentially unknown which growth factors or receptors carry out this important control in vivo. Here, we tested whether the type II transforming growth factor (TGF) beta receptor has a role in this process. We generated a conditional knock-out mouse in which(More)
Although Schwann cell myelin breakdown is the universal outcome of a remarkably wide range of conditions that cause disease or injury to peripheral nerves, the cellular and molecular mechanisms that make Schwann cell-mediated myelin digestion possible have not been established. We report that Schwann cells degrade myelin after injury by a novel form of(More)
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A is the most frequent inherited peripheral neuropathy. It is generally due to heterozygous inheritance of a partial chromosomal duplication resulting in over-expression of PMP22. A key feature of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A is secondary death of axons. Prevention of axonal loss is therefore an important target of(More)
Little is known about the cytoarchitecture of growth fronts in developing mammalian nerves. We report here the first quantitative, ultrastructural analysis of growth cones (GCs) and their immediate cellular and tissue environment at tips of growing nerves that are nearing their targets in fore limbs of E14 rat embryos. Schwann cell precursor (SCP) marker,(More)