CNS Hypomyelinated Mutant Mice (Jimpy, Shiverer, Quaking): In Vitro Evidence for Primary Oligodendrocyte Defects

  • Merrill K. Wolf
  • Susan Billings-Gagliardi
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 181)


Myelin is the protein and lipid sheath, consisting of consecutive, spirally wrapped, compacted segments of cell membrane, which surrounds each large axon in vertebrates and causes saltatory conduction of the action potentials. Nerve fiber sheaths with certain features of myelin are found in other animals, notably in some arthropods. True myelin, however, seems to be confined to true vertebrates, from the elasmobranchs up, and is strongly conserved in vertebrate evolution. Myelin has unique ultrastructural and biochemical components; it is formed by unique cells (in the CNS of warm-blooded vertebrates, by the oligodendrocytes); and it has a unique relationship to another cell, for normally it only forms around part of a neuron, almost always the axon. All this implies the existence of numerous DNA sequences which encode, not only for the structural components of adult myelin, but also for various steps of its development. Because myelin is strongly conserved, information about this DNA obtained from any mammal is likely to be directly applicable to other mammals including man.


Optic Nerve Schwann Cell Myelin Basic Protein Myelin Sheath Cytosine Arabinoside 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Merrill K. Wolf
    • 1
  • Susan Billings-Gagliardi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA

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