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J Comp Neurol. 2006 Apr 1;495(4):351-62.

Age-related molecular reorganization at the node of Ranvier.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA.

Abstract

In myelinated axons, action potential conduction is dependent on the discrete clustering of ion channels at specialized regions of the axon, termed nodes of Ranvier. This organization is controlled, at least in part, by the adherence of myelin sheaths to the axolemma in the adjacent region of the paranode. Age-related disruption in the integrity of internodal myelin sheaths is well described and includes splitting of myelin sheaths, redundant myelin, and fluctuations in biochemical constituents of myelin. These changes have been proposed to contribute to age-related cognitive decline; in previous studies of monkeys, myelin changes correlate with cognitive performance. In the present study, we hypothesize that age-dependent myelin breakdown results in concomitant disruption at sites of axoglial contact, in particular at the paranode, and that this disruption alters the molecular organization in this region. In aged monkey and rat optic nerves, immunolabeling for voltage-dependent potassium channels of the Shaker family (Kv1.2), normally localizing in the adjacent juxtaparanode, were mislocalized to the paranode. Similarly, immunolabeling for the paranodal marker caspr reveals irregular caspr-labeled paranodal profiles, suggesting that there may be age-related changes in paranodal structure. Ultrastructural analysis of paranodal segments from optic nerve of aged monkeys shows that, in a subset of myelinated axons with thick sheaths, some paranodal loops fail to contact the axolemma. Thus, age-dependent myelin alterations affect axonal protein localization and may be detrimental to maintenance of axonal conduction.

PMID:
16485288
PMCID:
PMC4444368
DOI:
10.1002/cne.20886
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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