ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-140930-10
Zebrafish as a model to investigate CNS myelination
Preston, M.A., Macklin, W.B.
Date: 2015
Source: Glia   63(2): 177-93 (Review)
Registered Authors: Macklin, Wendy B.
Keywords: live imaging, mutation, oligodendrocytes, screens, transgenic
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Central Nervous System/cytology*
  • Central Nervous System/physiology*
  • Demyelinating Diseases
  • Models, Animal
  • Myelin Proteins/genetics
  • Myelin Proteins/metabolism*
  • Myelin Sheath/physiology*
  • Oligodendroglia/metabolism*
  • Organogenesis
  • Zebrafish
PubMed: 25263121 Full text @ Glia
Myelin plays a critical role in proper neuronal function by providing trophic and metabolic support to axons and facilitating energy-efficient saltatory conduction. Myelination is influenced by numerous molecules including growth factors, hormones, transmembrane receptors and extracellular molecules, which activate signaling cascades that drive cellular maturation. Key signaling molecules and downstream signaling cascades controlling myelination have been identified in cell culture systems. However, in vitro systems are not able to faithfully replicate the complex in vivo signaling environment that occurs during development or following injury. Currently, it remains time-consuming and expensive to investigate myelination in vivo in rodents, the most widely used model for studying mammalian myelination. As such, there is a need for alternative in vivo myelination models, particularly ones that can test molecular mechanisms without removing oligodendrocyte lineage cells from their native signaling environment or disrupting intercellular interactions with other cell types present during myelination. Here, we review the ever-increasing role of zebrafish in studies uncovering novel mechanisms controlling vertebrate myelination. These innovative studies range from observations of the behavior of single cells during in vivo myelination as well as mutagenesis- and pharmacology-based screens in whole animals. Additionally, we discuss recent efforts to develop novel models of demyelination and oligodendrocyte cell death in adult zebrafish for the study of cellular behavior in real time during repair and regeneration of damaged nervous systems. GLIA 2014.