Michelle Mikesh

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To enable vital observation of glia at the neuromuscular junction, transgenic mice were generated that express proteins of the green fluorescent protein family under control of transcriptional regulatory sequences of the human S100B gene. Terminal Schwann cells were imaged repetitively in living animals of one of the transgenic lines to show that, except(More)
A mouse model of the devastating human disease "spinal muscular atrophy" (SMA) was used to investigate the severe muscle weakness and spasticity that precede the death of these animals near the end of the 2nd postnatal week. Counts of motor units to the soleus muscle as well as of axons in the soleus muscle nerve showed no loss of motor neurons. Similarly,(More)
The intermediate filament nestin is localized postsynaptically at rodent neuromuscular junctions. The protein forms a filamentous network beneath and between the synaptic gutters, surrounds myofiber nuclei, and is associated with Z-discs adjacent to the junction. In situ hybridization shows that nestin mRNA is synthesized selectively by synaptic myonuclei.(More)
Schwann cells (SCs) at neuromuscular junctions (NMJs) play active roles in synaptic homeostasis and repair. We have studied how SCs contribute to reinnervation of NMJs using vital imaging of mice whose motor axons and SCs are transgenically labeled with different colors of fluorescent proteins. Motor axons most commonly regenerate to the original synaptic(More)
The competitive processes that result in elimination/pruning of developing synapses are incompletely understood. Serial electron microscopy was used to image postnatal mouse neuromuscular junctions where elimination is well studied and events at every synaptic contact can be examined. Glial or Schwann cells (SCs) are shown to have two activities during(More)
Transection of nerve axons (axotomy) leads to rapid (Wallerian) degeneration of the distal portion of the severed axon whereas the proximal portion and the soma often survive. Clinicians and neuroscientists have known for decades that somal survival is less likely for cells transected nearer to the soma, compared to further from the soma. Calcium ion(More)
Traumatic injuries to PNS and CNS axons are not uncommon. Restoration of lost behaviors following severance of mammalian peripheral nerve axons (PNAs) relies on regeneration by slow outgrowths and is typically poor or nonexistent when after ablation or injuries close to the soma. Behavioral recovery after severing spinal tract axons (STAs) is poor because(More)
Synaptic connections in the nervous system are rearranged during development and in adulthood as a feature of growth, plasticity, aging, and disease. Glia are implicated as active participants in these changes. Here we investigated a signal that controls the participation of peripheral glia, the terminal Schwann cells (SCs), at the neuromuscular junction(More)
Complete crush or cut severance of sciatic nerve axons in rats and other mammals produces immediate loss of axonal continuity. Loss of locomotor functions subserved by those axons is restored only after months, if ever, by outgrowths regenerating at ∼1 mm/day from the proximal stumps of severed axonal segments. The distal stump of a severed axon typically(More)