Local regulation of the axonal phenotype, a case of merotrophism

Biol Res. 2005;38(4):365-74.


In this essay, we show that several anatomical features of the axon, namely, microtubular content, caliber and extension of sprouts, correlate on a local basis with the particular condition of the glial cell, i.e., the anatomy of axons is dynamic, although it is seen usually in its 'normal' state. The occurrence of ribosomes and messenger RNAs in the axon suggests that axoplasmic proteins are most likely synthesized locally, at variance with the accepted notion that they are supplied by the cell body. We propose that the supporting cell (oligodendrocyte or Schwann cell) regulates the axonal phenotype by fine-tuning the ongoing axonal protein synthesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axonal Transport / genetics
  • Axonal Transport / physiology*
  • Axons / metabolism
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological
  • Nerve Regeneration / physiology*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / metabolism
  • Oligodendroglia / physiology
  • Phenotype*
  • Presynaptic Terminals / physiology
  • Schwann Cells / physiology


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins