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CNS-derived glia ensheath peripheral nerves and mediate motor root development.

Motor function requires that motor axons extend from the spinal cord at regular intervals and that they are myelinated by Schwann cells. Little attention has been given to another cellular structure, the perineurium, which ensheaths the motor nerve, forming a flexible, protective barrier. Consequently, the origin of perineurial cells and their roles in motor nerve formation are poorly understood. Using time-lapse imaging in zebrafish, we show that perineurial cells are born in the CNS, arising as ventral spinal-cord glia before migrating into the periphery. In embryos lacking perineurial glia, motor neurons inappropriately migrated outside of the spinal cord and had aberrant axonal projections, indicating that perineurial glia carry out barrier and guidance functions at motor axon exit points. Additionally, reciprocal signaling between perineurial glia and Schwann cells was necessary for motor nerve ensheathment by both cell types. These insights reveal a new class of CNS-born glia that critically contributes to motor nerve development.

Pubmed ID: 18176560


  • Kucenas S
  • Takada N
  • Park HC
  • Woodruff E
  • Broadie K
  • Appel B


Nature neuroscience

Publication Data

February 29, 2008

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: MH65215-03
  • Agency: NCRR NIH HHS, Id: P40 RR012546
  • Agency: NIGMS NIH HHS, Id: R01 GM054544
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: R01 NS046668
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: R01 NS046668
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: R01 NS046668-04

Mesh Terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Axons
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Central Nervous System
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Fishes
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Morpholines
  • Motor Neurons
  • Myelin Sheath
  • Neuroglia
  • Peripheral Nerves
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Schwann Cells
  • Spinal Cord
  • Transcription Factors
  • Veratrum Alkaloids
  • Zebrafish Proteins
  • Zonula Occludens-1 Protein