Individual oligodendrocytes have only a few hours in which to generate new myelin sheaths invivo

Tim Czopka, Charles ffrench-Constant, David A. Lyons

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218 Citations (Scopus)


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 invivo. We show, using live imaging in zebrafish, that oligodendrocytes make new myelinsheaths during a period of just 5hr, 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-609
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2013

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