The development, plasticity and pathology of myelinated CNS axons


  • Prof David Attwell

    University College London

Project summary

Professor Attwell's lab is interested in the interaction between neurons and glial cells. With this award Professor Attwell will investigate the development, plasticity and pathology of myelinated CNS axons. Myelinated axons form the white matter of the brain and spinal cord. They are generated by a subtype of glia called oligodendrocytes that wrap myelin around axons, which speeds action potential propagation along the axons. However, myelinated axons are poorly understood, and Professor Attwell will address the following questions: (1) How is oligodendrocyte development regulated to set axonal conduction speed? (2) What are the mechanisms of white matter plasticity that may contribute to learning? (3) How is the oligodendrocyte-axonal unit disrupted in pathology? As well as increasing our understanding of myelinated axons, this research will also give insight into potential therapeutic approaches for protecting myelin and promoting myelination in de-/dysmyelinating disorders, such as multiple sclerosis.