Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Neurosci. 2003 Feb;6(2):161-7.

Activation of the transcription factor NF-kappaB in Schwann cells is required for peripheral myelin formation.

Author information

Vanderbilt University Medical School, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee 37232, USA.


Peripheral myelin formation is initiated by axonal cues that trigger a differentiation program in associated Schwann cells. Here, we define one essential differentiation signal: activation of the transcription factor NF-kappaB. In rat sciatic nerves, NF-kappaB was highly upregulated in pre-myelinating Schwann cells, and then its expression progressively declined until it was nearly absent in adults. Similarly, in co-cultures of Schwann cells and sensory neurons, NF-kappaB activation paralleled myelination, and blocking its activity or using cells from mice lacking the NF-kappaB subunit p65 markedly attenuated myelination. Inhibiting NF-kappaB also prevented activation of Oct-6, a transcription factor induced by axonal contact and required for proper myelin formation. These results show that the activation of NF-kappaB is an essential signal for the progression of axon-associated Schwann cells into a myelinating phenotype.

Comment in

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center