About this Research Topic
Over the last decades the idea of myelin as a rigid structure has been challenged by several studies showing that myelin formation, remodeling and repair are highly dynamics. This evidence implies that myelin forming cells -i.e. oligodendrocytes and schwann cells-, or their progenitors, are able to respond to environmental signaling in a non-static manner. Several reports support this implication and even though subcellular mechanisms behind ‘active’ or ‘activity-dependent’ myelination are still elusive, the contribution of myelinating glia to this process is undisputable. Importantly, myelin forming cells have also emerged as key actors in several physiological and pathological processes beyond myelin synthesis. Along with many other functions these cells could play active roles in metabolic axonal support, regeneration, potassium buffering, and in some forms of LTP. Supporting these functions, intercellular interactions across neuron, glia and other non-neuronal cells (i.e. vascular niche) involved synaptic contacts, hemichannels activity, gap junction coupling and signaling mediated by exosomes.
The present Research Topic aims to explore evidence on cellular and subcellular mechanisms underlying (i) myelin formation and repair and (ii) myelin forming cells contribution to neuronal function. New discoveries on this field will have deep consequences not only in the understanding of glia-neuron interaction, but also promoting a brand-new point of view on the myelin forming cells contribution to the nervous system physiology in health and disease.
Keywords: Oligodendrocyte, Schwann cell, oligodendrocyte precursor cell, myelin, axon physiology
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