Understanding oligodendrocyte turnover: the key to functional remyelination
This is a potential Honours or PhD student project in the laboratory. As oligodendrocytes mature, they form a thick myelin membrane that wraps the axon multiple times and is termed an "internode". Internodes insulate the axon and support their faithful and rapid conduction of electrical impulses. Multiple sclerosis (MS) pathology is complex but involves oligodendrocyte death and axonal demyelination, and ultimately results in the disruption of neural transmission. As oligodendrocytes and myelin protect CNS axons from permanent injury and loss, achieving more efficacious remyelination would limit the neurological disabilities experienced by MS patients. It is feasible that remyelination in MS could be improved by therapeutically stimulating endogenous oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) to generate new myelinating oligodendrocytes.
Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells make new oligodendrocytes.
- Dr Ben Emery, Oregon Health & Science University, US
- Dr Tobias Merson, University of Melbourne