Axonal cytoskeleton at the nodes of Ranvier

J Neurocytol. 1991 Jun;20(6):450-8. doi: 10.1007/BF01252273.


The relationship between the degree of nodal narrowing and the changes in the structure of the axonal cytoskeleton was studied in 53 fibres of mouse sciatic nerve. Nodal narrowing increased with increasing fibre calibre to reach about 20% of the internodal area in the thicker fibres. The narrowing corresponded quantitatively to a decreased number of nodal neurofilaments. Nodal microtubule numbers varied greatly, and a majority of fibres had considerably (approximately 55%) more microtubules in their nodal profile than in the internode. Nodal profiles of different calibre showed an increase in the number of filaments and of microtubules with nodal calibre, although at rates different from those in the internode. The degree of observed axon non-circularities had no discernible effect on the restructuring of the axonal cytoskeleton at the node. A transnodal transport of the axonal cytoskeleton can occur with: (1) accelerated transnodal transport of filaments, (2) stationary internodal fraction of filaments, (3) depolymerization of filaments proximal to the node and repolymerization distally, or (4) different nodal and internodal polymerization equilibria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / ultrastructure*
  • Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure*
  • Databases, Bibliographic
  • Intermediate Filaments / ultrastructure
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microtubules / ultrastructure
  • Ranvier's Nodes / ultrastructure*
  • Sciatic Nerve / ultrastructure*