The myelination of axons by oligodendrocytes markedly affects CNS function, but how this is regulated by neuronal activity in vivo is not known. We found that blocking synaptic vesicle release impaired CNS myelination by reducing the number of myelin sheaths made by individual oligodendrocytes during their short period of formation. We also found that stimulating neuronal activity increased myelin sheath formation by individual oligodendrocytes. These data indicate that neuronal activity regulates the myelinating capacity of single oligodendrocytes.
period of stimulation at
Neuron A (transmitting) to neuron B(receiving).
2. Synaptic vesicle with neurotransmitters;
4. Synapse with neurotransmitter released (serotonin);
5. Postsynaptic receptors activated by neurotransmitter (induction of a postsynaptic potential);
6. Calcium channel;
7. Exocytosis of a vesicle;
8. Recaptured neurotransmitter