Myelination and regional domain differentiation of the axon

Courtney Thaxton, Manzoor A. Bhat

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

19 Scopus citations


During evolution, as organisms increased in complexity and function, the need for the ensheathment and insulation of axons by glia became vital for faster conductance of action potentials in nerves. Myelination, as the process is termed, facilitates the formation of discrete domains within the axolemma that are enriched in ion channels, and macromolecular complexes consisting of cell adhesion molecules and cytoskeletal regulators. While it is known that glia play a substantial role in the coordination and organization of these domains, the mechanisms involved and signals transduced between the axon and glia, as well as the proteins regulating axo-glial junction formation remain elusive. Emerging evidence has shed light on the processes regulating myelination and domain differentiation, and key molecules have been identified that are required for their assembly and maintenance. This review highlights these recent findings, and relates their significance to domain disorganization as seen in several demyelinating disorders and other neuropathies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCell Biology of the Axon
EditorsEdward Koenig
Number of pages28
StatePublished - Sep 18 2009

Publication series

NameResults and Problems in Cell Differentiation
ISSN (Print)0080-1844
ISSN (Electronic)1861-0412


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

Cite this

Thaxton, C., & Bhat, M. A. (2009). Myelination and regional domain differentiation of the axon. In E. Koenig (Ed.), Cell Biology of the Axon (pp. 1-28). (Results and Problems in Cell Differentiation; Vol. 48).