Brain cell insulators are short-timers

Limited myelin production time may make it harder to repair nerve casings damaged by multiple sclerosis

By Tina Hesman Saey, 14:19 PM June 24, 2013

Cells that sheathe the brain’s electrical wires in a protective coating called myelin have a brief career, a new study of zebrafish finds.

Specialized brain cells known as oligodendrocytes wrap myelin around axons, long fibers that carry electrical messages between nerve cells. After only five hours, the cells bow out of the myelin production business, researchers from the University of Edinburgh report in the June 24 Developmental Cell.

Myelination is crucial for brain function, and when it br...

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