Dynamic Modulation of Myelination in Response to Visual Stimuli Alters Optic Nerve Conduction Velocity

The Journal of Neuroscience : the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience
Ainhoa EtxeberriaJonah R Chan


Myelin controls the time required for an action potential to travel from the neuronal soma to the axon terminal, defining the temporal manner in which information is processed within the CNS. The presence of myelin, the internodal length, and the thickness of the myelin sheath are powerful structural factors that control the velocity and fidelity of action potential transmission. Emerging evidence indicates that myelination is sensitive to environmental experience and neuronal activity. Activity-dependent modulation of myelination can dynamically alter action potential conduction properties but direct functional in vivo evidence and characterization of the underlying myelin changes is lacking. We demonstrate that in mice long-term monocular deprivation increases oligodendrogenesis in the retinogeniculate pathway but shortens myelin internode lengths without affecting other structural properties of myelinated fibers. We also demonstrate that genetically attenuating synaptic glutamate neurotransmission from retinal ganglion cells phenocopies the changes observed after monocular deprivation, suggesting that glutamate may constitute a signal for myelin length regulation. Importantly, we demonstrate that visual deprivation and short...Continue Reading


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