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Neural Regen Res. 2019 Dec;14(12):2063-2066. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.262569.

Turning to myelin turnover.

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Department of Neurogenetics, Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine, Göttingen, Germany.


Neural plasticity in the adult central nervous system involves the adaptation of myelination, including the formation of novel myelin sheaths by adult-born oligodendrocytes. Yet, mature oligodendrocytes slowly but constantly turn over their pre-existing myelin sheaths, thereby establishing an equilibrium of replenishment and degradation that may also be subject to adaptation with consequences for nerve conduction velocity. In this short review we highlight selected approaches to the normal turnover of adult myelin in vivo, from injecting radioactive precursors of myelin constituents in the 1960s to current strategies involving isotope labeling and tamoxifen-induced gene targeting.


central nervous system; degradation; isotope labeling; metabolic labeling; myelin plasticity and turnover; myelinoid bodies; neural plasticity; oligodendrocyte; tamoxifen

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