The myelin sheath is a plasma membrane extension that is laid down in regularly spaced segments along axons of the nervous system. This process involves extensive changes in oligodendrocyte cell shape and membrane architecture. In this Cell Science at a Glance article and accompanying poster, we provide a model of how myelin of the central nervous system is wrapped around axons to form a tightly compacted, multilayered membrane structure. This model may not only explain how myelin is generated during brain development, but could also help us to understand myelin remodeling in adult life, which might serve as a form of plasticity for the fine-tuning of neuronal networks.
Keywords: Axons; Central nervous system; Myelin; Neurons; Oligodendrocytes.
© 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.