Axons dictate whether or not they will become myelinated in both the central and peripheral nervous systems by providing signals that direct the development of myelinating glia. Here we identify the neurotrophin nerve growth factor (NGF) as a potent regulator of the axonal signals that control myelination of TrkA-expressing dorsal root ganglion neurons… (More)
The transcriptional control of CNS myelin gene expression is poorly understood. Here we identify gene model 98, which we have named myelin gene regulatory factor (MRF), as a transcriptional regulator required for CNS myelination. Within the CNS, MRF is specifically expressed by postmitotic oligodendrocytes. MRF is a nuclear protein containing an… (More)
Mechanistic studies of CNS myelination have been hindered by the lack of a rapidly myelinating culture system. Here, we describe a versatile CNS coculture method that allows time-lapse microscopy and molecular analysis of distinct stages of myelination. Employing a culture architecture of reaggregated neurons fosters extension of dense beds of axons from… (More)
The controlling factors that prompt mature oligodendrocytes to myelinate axons are largely undetermined. In this study, we used a forward genetics approach to identify a mutant mouse strain characterized by the absence of CNS myelin despite the presence of abundant numbers of late-stage, process-extending oligodendrocytes. Through linkage mapping and… (More)
The cell intrinsic factors that determine whether a neuron regenerates or undergoes apoptosis in response to axonal injury are not well defined. Here we show that the mixed-lineage dual leucine zipper kinase (DLK) is an essential upstream mediator of both of these divergent outcomes in the same cell type. Optic nerve crush injury leads to rapid elevation of… (More)
Neurons are highly polarized cells that often project axons a considerable distance. To respond to axonal damage, neurons must transmit a retrograde signal to the nucleus to enable a transcriptional stress response. Here we describe a mechanism by which this signal is propagated through injury-induced stabilization of dual leucine zipper-bearing kinase… (More)
Three different myelin proteins, Nogo, MAG, and OMgp, inhibit regenerating axons after CNS injury. New work reveals that they all share a common receptor and that blockade of this receptor promotes CNS repair and functional recovery.