Nerve Impulses Regulate Myelination through Purinergic Signalling

  1. Derek J. Chadwick Organizer and
  2. Jamie Goode
  1. R. Douglas Fields Chief

Published Online: 7 OCT 2008

DOI: 10.1002/9780470032244.ch12

Purinergic Signalling in Neuron-Glia Interactions: Novartis Foundation Symposium 276

Purinergic Signalling in Neuron-Glia Interactions: Novartis Foundation Symposium 276

How to Cite

Fields, R. D. (2006) Nerve Impulses Regulate Myelination through Purinergic Signalling, in Purinergic Signalling in Neuron-Glia Interactions: Novartis Foundation Symposium 276 (eds D. J. Chadwick and J. Goode), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470032244.ch12

Author Information

  1. Nervous System Development & Plasticity Section, National Institutes of Health, NICHD, Bldg 35, Room 2A211, MSC 3713, 35 Lincoln Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 7 OCT 2008
  2. Published Print: 21 APR 2006

Book Series:

  1. Novartis Foundation Symposia

Book Series Editors:

  1. Novartis Foundation

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470018606

Online ISBN: 9780470032244

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Keywords:

  • myelination regulation by action potentials;
  • confocal Ca2+ imaging;
  • electrical impulses activating intracellular signalling cascades;
  • action potential signalling to astrocytes;
  • cell adhesion molecule L1

Summary

The myelin membrane wrapped around axons provides electrical insulation essential for rapid impulse conduction. Impulse activity can affect the formation of myelin, but the effects differ in the PNS and CNS, where myelin is formed by two distinct types of cells: Schwann cells (SCs) and oligodendrocytes, respectively. Our studies on mouse dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons, which have axons in both the PNS and CNS, show that impulse activity releases ATP from premyelinated axons, and that this is detected by myelinating glia. Calcium imaging indicates that axonal firing stimulates different purinergic receptors on the two types of glia, resulting in opposite effects of impulse activity on differentiation of SCs and oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs). In addition to P2 receptors on both types of glia, four types of P1 receptors are present in OPCs, but only A2A and A2B P1 receptors are detected in mouse SCs. ATP is of primary importance in regulating early development and myelination by SCs, where it inhibits differentiation and myelination. Adenosine is of primary importance in regulating early development of OPCs, where it stimulates differentiation and myelination. Purinergic signalling interacts with growth factor and cytokine signalling, and these responses are developmentally regulated.