Myelin Proteins as Mediators of Signal Transduction

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Myelin is a specialized membrane that wraps multiple times around an axon and is essential for the proper conduction of action potentials. In the central nervous system (CNS), myelin is produced by oligodendrocytes. Because of the difficulty in studying myelin assembly in vivo, the elaboration of the myelin sheath is poorly understood. Current knowledge of the cytoarchitecture of oligodendrocyte membrane sheets has been obtained largely by studying oligodendrocytes in culture. The focus of this review is to discuss specific signaling pathways that may play key regulatory roles in the development and maintenance of the myelin membrane sheet.