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ACS Chem Neurosci. 2012 Feb 15;3(2):90-95. Epub 2011 Dec 5.

Substrate Micropatterning as a New in Vitro Cell Culture System to Study Myelination.

Abstract

Myelination is a highly regulated developmental process whereby oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system and Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system ensheathe axons with a multilayered concentric membrane. Axonal myelination increases the velocity of nerve impulse propagation. In this work, we present a novel in vitro system for coculturing primary dorsal root ganglia neurons along with myelinating cells on a highly restrictive and micropatterned substrate. In this new coculture system, neurons survive for several weeks, extending long axons on defined Matrigel tracks. On these axons, myelinating cells can achieve robust myelination, as demonstrated by the distribution of compact myelin and nodal markers. Under these conditions, neurites and associated myelinating cells are easily accessible for studies on the mechanisms of myelin formation and on the effects of axonal damage on the myelin sheath.

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