Neuroscience

Team discovers surprise contributor to multiple sclerosis

Cells that scientists have largely ignored when studying multiple sclerosis are actually key contributors to MS development, new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine shows. The discovery suggests new ...

Genetics

How glial cells develop in the brain from neural precursor cells

Two types of cells are active in the brain: nerve cells and glial cells. Glial cells have long been regarded primarily as supportive cells, but researchers increasingly recognize that they play an active role in the communication ...

Neuroscience

Switch for the regeneration of nerve cell insulation

An international research team has discovered a mechanism that regulates the regeneration of the insulating layer of neurites. This insulation coating, also referred to as the myelin sheath, is crucial for rapid signal transmission ...

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Oligodendrocyte

Oligodendrocytes (from Greek, meaning cells with a few branches), or oligodendroglia (Greek, few tree glue), are a type of brain cell. They are a variety of neuroglia. Their main function is the insulation of axons (the long projection of nerve cells) in the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) of some vertebrates. (The same function is performed by Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system). A single oligodendrocyte can extend its processes to 50 axons, wrapping around approximately 1 μm of myelin sheath around each axon; Schwann cells, on the other hand, can wrap around only 1 axon.

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