Structural Organisation and Stability of Central Nervous System Myelin

  • M. G. Rumsby
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 142)


Studies aimed at elucidating the structural organisation of the myelin sheath in the central and peripheral nervous systems have been steadily progressing for many years and were initiated using physicochemical techniques, primarly X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy (Finean, 1961). Because of its multilamellar structure the myelin sheath is highly amenable to analysis by X-ray techniques and many of the earlier studies were undertaken on myelin to glean information about the structure of biological membranes in general. We know now that myelin, with its very high lipid to protein ratio (Table 1), is at one end of a wide spectrum of biological membranes all of which appear to have a common structural organisation of complex lipids in a stable bilayer form in fluid-mosaic arrangement with proteins (Singer & Nicholson, 1972).


Myelin Basic Protein Acyl Chain Myelin Sheath Radial Component Bovine Brain 


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© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. G. Rumsby
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of YorkYorkEngland

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