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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2006 Oct;16(5):501-7. Epub 2006 Sep 7.

Basal lamina: Schwann cells wrap to the rhythm of space-time.

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  • 1San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Dipartimento di Ricerca Biologica e Tecnologica, Via Olgettina 58, Milano, Italy.


Schwann cells form myelin in the peripheral nervous system. All Schwann cells are surrounded by a basal lamina. Extracellular matrix molecules in the basal lamina, such as laminin, regulate key aspects of Schwann cell development including the formation, architecture and function of myelin. Recent genetic and cell biological experiments suggest that Schwann cells regulate the basal lamina and its receptors in both time and space, resulting in differential functions. These findings have important implications for diseases resulting from laminin dysfunction, such as congenital muscular dystrophy 1A.

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