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J Cell Sci. 2006 Nov 1;119(Pt 21):4381-9.

Neuron-glia communication in the control of oligodendrocyte function and myelin biogenesis.

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Centre for Biochemistry and Molecular Cell Biology, University of Göttingen, Humboldtallee 23, 37073 Göttingen, Germany.


During the development of the central nervous system the reciprocal communication between neurons and oligodendrocytes is essential for the generation of myelin, a multilamellar insulating membrane that ensheathes the axons. Neuron-derived signalling molecules regulate the proliferation, differentiation and survival of oligodendrocytes. Furthermore, neurons control the onset and timing of myelin membrane growth. In turn, signals from oligodendrocytes to neurons direct the assembly of specific subdomains in neurons at the node of Ranvier. Recent work has begun to shed light on the molecules and signaling systems used to coordinate the interaction of neurons and oligodendrocytes. For example, the neuronal signals seem to control the membrane trafficking machinery in oligodendrocytes that leads to myelination. These interconnections at multiple levels show how neurons and glia cooperate to build a complex network during development.

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