Individual oligodendrocytes have only a few hours in which to generate new myelin sheaths in vivo.
ABSTRACT: The number of myelin sheaths made by individual oligodendrocytes regulates the extent of myelination, which profoundly affects central nervous system function. It remains unknown when, during their life, individual oligodendrocytes can regulate myelin sheath number in vivo. We show, using live imaging in zebrafish, that oligodendrocytes make new myelin sheaths during a period of just 5 hr, with regulation of sheath number after this time limited to occasional retractions. We also show that activation and reduction of Fyn kinase in oligodendrocytes increases and decreases sheath number per cell, respectively. Interestingly, these oligodendrocytes also generate their new myelin sheaths within the same period, despite having vastly different extents of myelination. Our data demonstrate a restricted time window relative to the lifetime of the individual oligodendrocyte, during which myelin sheath formation occurs and the number of sheaths is determined.
Project description:The myelination of axons by oligodendrocytes markedly affects CNS function, but how this is regulated by neuronal activity in vivo is not known. We found that blocking synaptic vesicle release impaired CNS myelination by reducing the number of myelin sheaths made by individual oligodendrocytes during their short period of formation. We also found that stimulating neuronal activity increased myelin sheath formation by individual oligodendrocytes. These data indicate that neuronal activity regulates the myelinating capacity of single oligodendrocytes.
Project description:Vesicular release from neurons promotes myelin sheath growth on axons. Oligodendrocytes express proteins that allow dendrites to respond to vesicular release at synapses, suggesting that axon-myelin contacts use similar communication mechanisms as synapses to form myelin sheaths. To test this, we used fusion proteins to track synaptic vesicle localization and membrane fusion in zebrafish during developmental myelination and investigated expression and localization of PSD95, a dendritic post-synaptic protein, within oligodendrocytes. Synaptic vesicles accumulate and exocytose at ensheathment sites with variable patterning and most sheaths localize PSD95 with patterning similar to exocytosis site location. Disruption of candidate PDZ-binding transsynaptic adhesion proteins in oligodendrocytes cause variable effects on sheath length and number. One candidate, Cadm1b, localizes to myelin sheaths where both PDZ binding and extracellular adhesion to axons mediate sheath growth. Our work raises the possibility that axon-glial communication contributes to myelin plasticity, providing new targets for mechanistic unraveling of developmental myelination.
Project description:Since Río-Hortega's description of oligodendrocyte morphologies nearly a century ago, many studies have observed myelin sheath-length diversity between CNS regions. Myelin sheath length directly impacts axonal conduction velocity by influencing the spacing between nodes of Ranvier. Such differences likely affect neural signal coordination and synchronization. What accounts for regional differences in myelin sheath lengths is unknown; are myelin sheath lengths determined solely by axons or do intrinsic properties of different oligodendrocyte precursor cell populations affect length? The prevailing view is that axons provide molecular cues necessary for oligodendrocyte myelination and appropriate sheath lengths. This view is based upon the observation that axon diameters correlate with myelin sheath length, as well as reports that PNS axonal neuregulin-1 type III regulates the initiation and properties of Schwann cell myelin sheaths. However, in the CNS, no such instructive molecules have been shown to be required, and increasing in vitro evidence supports an oligodendrocyte-driven, neuron-independent ability to differentiate and form initial sheaths. We test this alternative signal-independent hypothesis--that variation in internode lengths reflects regional oligodendrocyte-intrinsic properties. Using microfibers, we find that oligodendrocytes have a remarkable ability to self-regulate the formation of compact, multilamellar myelin and generate sheaths of physiological length. Our results show that oligodendrocytes respond to fiber diameters and that spinal cord oligodendrocytes generate longer sheaths than cortical oligodendrocytes on fibers, co-cultures, and explants, revealing that oligodendrocytes have regional identity and generate different sheath lengths that mirror internodes in vivo.
Project description:During myelination, individual oligodendrocytes initially over-produce short myelin sheaths, which are either retracted or stabilized. By live-imaging oligodendrocyte Ca2+ activity in vivo, we find that high-amplitude, long-duration Ca2+ transients in sheaths prefigure retractions, mediated by calpain. Following stabilization, myelin sheaths grow along axons, and we find that higher-frequency Ca2+ transient activity in sheaths precedes faster elongation. Our data implicate local Ca2+ signaling in regulating distinct stages of myelination.
Project description:Oligodendrocytes are the myelinating cells of the central nervous system (CNS). They are the end product of a cell lineage which has to undergo a complex and precisely timed program of proliferation, migration, differentiation, and myelination to finally produce the insulating sheath of axons. Due to this complex differentiation program, and due to their unique metabolism/physiology, oligodendrocytes count among the most vulnerable cells of the CNS. In this review, we first describe the different steps eventually culminating in the formation of mature oligodendrocytes and myelin sheaths, as they were revealed by studies in rodents. We will then show differences and similarities of human oligodendrocyte development. Finally, we will lay out the different pathways leading to oligodendrocyte and myelin loss in human CNS diseases, and we will reveal the different principles leading to the restoration of myelin sheaths or to a failure to do so.
Project description:Oligodendrocyte loss in neurological disease leaves axons vulnerable to damage and degeneration, and activity-dependent myelination may represent an endogenous mechanism to improve remyelination following injury. Here we report that, while learning a forelimb reach task transiently suppresses oligodendrogenesis, it subsequently increases oligodendrocyte precursor cell differentiation, oligodendrocyte generation and myelin sheath remodeling in the forelimb motor cortex. Immediately following demyelination, neurons exhibit hyperexcitability, learning is impaired and behavioral intervention provides no benefit to remyelination. However, partial remyelination restores neuronal and behavioral function, allowing learning to enhance oligodendrogenesis, remyelination of denuded axons and the ability of surviving oligodendrocytes to generate new myelin sheaths. Previously considered controversial, we show that sheath generation by mature oligodendrocytes is not only possible but also increases myelin pattern preservation following demyelination, thus presenting a new target for therapeutic interventions. Together, our findings demonstrate that precisely timed motor learning improves recovery from demyelinating injury via enhanced remyelination from new and surviving oligodendrocytes.
Project description:The presence of thin myelin sheaths in the adult CNS is recognized as a marker of remyelination, although the reason there is not a recovery from demyelination to normal myelin sheath thickness remains unknown. Remyelination is the default pathway after myelin loss in all mammalian species, in both naturally occurring and experimental disease. However, there remains uncertainty about whether these thin sheaths thicken with time and whether they remain viable for extended periods. We provide two lines of evidence here that thin myelin sheaths may persist indefinitely in long-lived animal models. In the first, we have followed thin myelin sheaths in a model of delayed myelination during a period of 13 years that we propose results in the same myelin sheath deficiencies as seen in remyelination; that is, thin myelin sheaths and short internodes. We show that the myelin sheaths remain thin and stable on many axons throughout this period with no detrimental effects on axons. In a second model system, in which there is widespread demyelination of the spinal cord and optic nerves, we also show that thinly remyelinated axons with short internodes persist for over the course of 2 y. These studies confirm the persistence and longevity of thin myelin sheaths and the importance of remyelination to the long-term health and function of the CNS.
Project description:During development, oligodendrocytes contact and wrap neuronal axons with myelin. Similarly to neurons and synapses, excess myelin sheaths are produced and selectively eliminated, but how elimination occurs is unknown. Microglia, the resident immune cells of the central nervous system, engulf surplus neurons and synapses. To determine whether microglia also prune myelin sheaths, we used zebrafish to visualize and manipulate interactions between microglia, oligodendrocytes, and neurons during development. We found that microglia closely associate with oligodendrocytes and specifically phagocytose myelin sheaths. By using a combination of optical, genetic, chemogenetic, and behavioral approaches, we reveal that neuronal activity bidirectionally balances microglial association with neuronal cell bodies and myelin phagocytosis in the optic tectum. Furthermore, multiple strategies to deplete microglia resulted in oligodendrocytes maintaining excessive and ectopic myelin. Our work reveals a neuronal activity-regulated role for microglia in modifying developmental myelin targeting by oligodendrocytes.
Project description:The development and regeneration of myelin by oligodendrocytes, the myelin-forming cells of the central nervous system (CNS), requires profound changes in cell shape that lead to myelin sheath initiation and formation. Here, we demonstrate a requirement for the basal polarity complex protein Scribble in CNS myelination and remyelination. Scribble is expressed throughout oligodendroglial development and is up-regulated in mature oligodendrocytes where it is localised to both developing and mature CNS myelin sheaths. Knockdown of Scribble expression in cultured oligodendroglia results in disrupted morphology and myelination initiation. When Scribble expression is conditionally eliminated in the myelinating glia of transgenic mice, myelin initiation in CNS is disrupted, both during development and following focal demyelination, and longitudinal extension of the myelin sheath is disrupted. At later stages of myelination, Scribble acts to negatively regulate myelin thickness whilst suppressing the extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK)/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAP) kinase pathway, and localises to non-compact myelin flanking the node of Ranvier where it is required for paranodal axo-glial adhesion. These findings demonstrate an essential role for the evolutionarily-conserved regulators of intracellular polarity in myelination and remyelination.
Project description:Oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system (CNS) produce myelin sheaths that insulate axons to facilitate efficient electrical conduction. These myelin sheaths contain lamellar microtubules that enable vesicular transport into the inner sheath. Mechanistically, oligodendrocytes rely on Golgi outpost organelles and the associated protein tubulin polymerization promoting protein (TPPP) to nucleate or form new microtubules outside of the cell body. Consequently, elongation of lamellar microtubules is defective in <i>Tppp</i> knock-out (KO) mice, which have thinner and shorter myelin sheaths. We now explore the behavioral phenotypes of <i>Tppp</i> KO mice using a number of different assays. In open-field assays, <i>Tppp</i> KO mice display similar activity levels and movement patterns as wild-type mice, indicating that they do not display anxiety behavior. However, <i>Tppp</i> KO mice lack fear responses by two types of assays, traditional fear-conditioning assays and looming fear assays, which test for innate fear responses. Deficits in fear conditioning, which is a memory-dependent task, as well as in spatial memory tests, support possible short-term memory defects in <i>Tppp</i> KO mice. Together, our experiments indicate a connection between CNS myelination and behavioral deficits.