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The logistics of myelin biogenesis in the central nervous system

Glia. 2017 Feb 7. doi: 10.1002/glia.23116. [Epub ahead of print]

Authors/Editors: Snaidero N, Simons M.
Publication Date: 2017

2017_02_snaidero

Abstract

Rapid nerve conduction depends on myelin, but not all axons in the central nervous system (CNS) are myelinated to the same extent. Here, we review our current understanding of the biology of myelin biogenesis in the CNS. We focus on how the different steps of myelination are interconnected and how distinct patterns of myelin are generated. Possibly, a “basal” mode of myelination is laying the groundwork in areas devoted to basic homeostasis early in development, whereas a “targeted” mode generates myelin in regions controlling more complex tasks throughout adulthood. Such mechanisms may explain why myelination progresses in some areas according to a typical chronological and topographic sequence, while in other regions it is regulated by environmental stimuli contributing to interindividual variability of myelin structure.

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