Myelin Palingenesis: The Reformation of Myelin by Mature Oligodendrocytes in the Absence of Neurons

  • Sara Szuchet
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 2)


It is now established that central nervous system (CNS) axons having lost their myelin can be remyelinated (for reviews see 7, 21, 50). The new myelin is made not only by oligodendrocytes but in some loci by Schwann cells as well (4, 8). Of interest is the demonstration that in experimental model systems in rodents, remyelination of axons in vivo is carried out by oligodendrocytes that have divided just prior to forming myelin. In this respect, the cells responsible for remyelination appear to follow a pattern of division, differentiation and maturation akin to that seen during normal development and the initial laying down of myelin (21). Presumably, it was observations of this type that led Wood and Bunge (50) to speculate that the mature oligodendrocyte:”…as a terminally differentiated cell does not have the capability to construct new myelin sheaths. Remyelination, which requires construction of entirely new segments, is dependent on a prior proliferation of undifferentiated stem cells.” These authors were however careful to point out that gaps exist in our knowledge and particularly so with regard to the potential of mature oligodendrocytes to reform myelin having once divested themselves of it. This chapter will consider experiments designed to explore these gaps.


Polypeptide Chain Myelin Basic Protein Myelin Sheath Myelin Protein Myelin Associate Glycoprotein 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sara Szuchet
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.The Brain Research InstituteThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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