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Helmut Kettenmann and Bruce R. Ransom

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195152227

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195152227.001.0001

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Oligodendrocyte and Schwann Cell Injury

Oligodendrocyte and Schwann Cell Injury

(p.430) 34 Oligodendrocyte and Schwann Cell Injury

Jennifer K. Ness

Mark P. Goldberg

Oxford University Press

Oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells are responsible for synthesis and maintenance of myelin in the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS), respectively, and therefore are critical for function in health and disease. Damage to myelin is a common feature in many neurological disorders, leading to delayed or blocked axonal conduction, secondary damage to axons, and possible permanent neurological dysfunction. There is growing recognition that oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells are uniquely vulnerable to a number of injury mechanisms. This chapter reviews molecular mechanisms leading to death in oligodendrocyte and Schwann cell lineages, including pathways triggered by oxidative stress, excitotoxicity, inflammatory mediators, and trophic factor deprivation. It also considers cell-cell interactions involved in white matter damage and the implications for clinical outcomes as well as potential avenues of treatment.

Keywords:   molecular mechanisms, oligodendrocytes, Schwnn cell lineages, central nervous system, peripheral nervous system

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