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Theses

Mechanisms of central nervous system nodes of Ranvier assembly

Abstract : The clustering of sodium channels (Nav) at the nodes of Ranvier is an important step in permitting rapid saltatory conduction along myelinated axons. Nodal assembly is neuron-glia dependent, mediated by myelinating oligodendrocytes of the central nervous system (CNS) and Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system (PNS). While the mechanisms of nodal assembly are currently best characterized in the PNS, cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying their assembly in the CNS are only partially understood. In the core of my PhD dissertation, I focused on the early developmental steps of nodal protein clustering in the CNS and show that clusters of nodal proteins, called prenodes, are detected before myelination along GABAergic axons in hippocampal neuron-glia cultures and also in the developing rodent hippocampus. Prenodal clustering requires extrinsic oligodendroglial secreted proteinaceous factors, and also the intrinsic axonal cytoskeletal scaffolding protein ankyrinG. Furthermore, the transition of sodium channels isoforms is tightly regulated along GABAergic axons during development, but this transition is lost in the absence of the physical presence of glial cells. Lastly, prenodes increase axonal conduction by a factor of 1.5x, independently of myelination and axonal caliber. Taken together, these results further our understanding of CNS nodes of Ranvier assembly mechanisms and the developmental function of nodal clustering prior to myelin ensheathment. While conduction velocity along axons has long been thought to mostly rely on the insulating properties of myelin, these results may shed light on a new concept of axonal conduction in the absence of myelination.
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  • HAL Id : tel-01341063, version 1

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Sean Freeman. Mechanisms of central nervous system nodes of Ranvier assembly. Neurons and Cognition [q-bio.NC]. Université Pierre et Marie Curie - Paris VI, 2015. English. ⟨NNT : 2015PA066425⟩. ⟨tel-01341063⟩

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