Commentary| Volume 3, ISSUE 1, P28-30, January 2014

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Metabolic support of axons by oligodendrocytes: Implications for multiple sclerosis

Published:August 06, 2013DOI:
      How the axon, the most distal part of which may be placed over a metre away from the neuronal cell body, receives metabolic substrates to generate ATP by residing mitochondria is a fascinating aspect of fundamental neuroscience. The possibility that oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells support axons independent of myelin was raised by the observation of axon pathology without substantial demyelination or significant inflammatory response in mice with dysfunctional oligodendrocytes, due to disruption of Plp1 and Cnp1 genes (
      • Nave K.A.
      • Trapp B.D.
      Axon–glial signaling and the glial support of axon function.
      ). A number of groups have begun to unravel the metabolic aspects of axon–glial interaction in both the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). These in vivo and in vitro studies were performed by disrupting mitochondrial respiratory chain in oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells as well as by exploring lactate, an important metabolic substrate for neurons, and its transport in the CNS.
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