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ASN neuro

Gas6 enhances axonal ensheathment by MBP+ membranous processes in human DRG/OL promyelinating co-cultures.


PMID 24476104

Abstract

The molecular requirements for human myelination are incompletely defined, and further study is needed to fully understand the cellular mechanisms involved during development and in demyelinating diseases. We have established a human co-culture model to study myelination. Our earlier observations showed that addition of human γ-carboxylated growth-arrest-specific protein 6 (Gas6) to human oligodendrocyte progenitor cell (OPC) cultures enhanced their survival and maturation. Therefore, we explored the effect of Gas6xa0in co-cultures of enriched OPCs plated on axons of human fetal dorsal root ganglia explant. Gas6 significantly enhanced the number of myelin basic protein-positive (MBP+) oligodendrocytes with membranous processes parallel with and ensheathing axons relative to co-cultures maintained in defined medium only for 14xa0days. Gas6 did not increase the overall number of MBP+ oligodendrocytes/culture; however, it significantly increased the length of MBP+ oligodendrocyte processes in contact with and wrapping axons. Multiple oligodendrocytes were in contact with a single axon, and several processes from one oligodendrocyte made contact with one or multiple axons. Electron microscopy supported confocal Z-series microscopy demonstrating axonal ensheathment by MBP+ oligodendrocyte membranous processes in Gas6-treated co-cultures. Contacts between the axonal and oligodendrocyte membranes were evident and multiple wraps of oligodendrocyte membrane around the axon were visible supporting a model system in which to study events in human myelination and aspects of non-compact myelin formation.