The Salzer Lab
Our laboratory is investigating the complex, reciprocal interactions between axons and myelinating glia, i.e. Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system and oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system. Axons promote the proliferation, survival and differentiation of these glial cells including, most dramatically, their formation of the myelin sheath. Glial cells, in turn, provide trophic factors that promote neuronal survival; they also regulate the organization of myelinated axons into distinct physiologic domains that promote the rapid and efficient propagation of action potentials via saltatory conduction. Elucidation of the juxtacrine signaling between these cells will be critical for an understanding of how myelinated nerves form and may provide important insights into the pathogenesis of demyelinating disorders.