Multiply myelinated axons in the optic nerve of mice deficient for the myelin-associated glycoprotein

Glia. 1995 Jun;14(2):115-22. doi: 10.1002/glia.440140206.


We recently reported that some retinal ganglion cell axons in mice deficient for the myelin-associated glycoprotein are concentrically surrounded by more than one myelin sheath. In the present study, we demonstrate that myelin sheaths displaced from the axon reveal a normal ultrastructure of compact myelin, with the only exception that multiple myelination of axons frequently correlates with the presence of unfused regions of major dense lines. Supernumerary sheaths terminated on other sheaths or on astrocyte cell surfaces in a pattern closely resembling the morphology of a true paranode. The thickness of compact myelin of multiply myelinated axons was significantly increased when compared with axons of similar caliber surrounded by a single myelin sheath. Our observations demonstrate that maintenance of compact myelin and paranodal regions is not dependent on direct axonal contact and that the presence of more than one concentric myelin sheath around an axon results in dysregulation of the axon-to-fiber ratio.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / pathology
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Myelin Sheath / pathology*
  • Myelin Sheath / ultrastructure
  • Myelin-Associated Glycoprotein / deficiency*
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / pathology*
  • Nerve Fibers, Myelinated / ultrastructure
  • Optic Nerve / pathology*
  • Optic Nerve / ultrastructure


  • Myelin-Associated Glycoprotein