Research Associate Laura Fontenas and Professor Sarah Kucenas have published in eLife. According to Fontenas the study, titled "Spinal cord precursors utilize neural crest cell mechanisms to generate hybrid peripheral myelinating glia", "furthers our molecular understanding about the CNS origins and development of motor exit point (MEP) glia, a novel peripheral glial cell type recently described in the Kucenas lab. Laura and Sarah demonstrate that, similar to neural crest cells, MEP glia require a foxd3/matrix metalloproteinase pathway, as well as signals from motor axons such as neuregulin, for their exit from the CNS into the periphery and for their proper development. They also show that MEP glia originate from lateral floor plate radial glial precursors and not from the pMN domain as initially described.
This study fills a critical gap in our knowledge about how these hybrid myelinating glial cells that are distinct from all other known glia are generated from neural tube precursors. This paper also lays the groundwork for future research on MEP glia in peripheral nervous system myelination. To read the full publication, please click here.
Photo: Neural precursors and glial cells in the zebrafish spinal cord