Chapter

Peripheral Neuropathy and the Schwann Cell

Rita M. Cowell and James W. Russell

in Neuroglia

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780195152227
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199865024 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195152227.003.0046
                      Peripheral Neuropathy and the Schwann Cell

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The Schwann cell (SC) is the sole source of myelin for peripheral nerves. During axon growth in development, SC precursors proliferate and migrate to the axon, establishing a 1:1 myelinating relationship with a larger-diameter axon or ensheathing a number of smaller axons. Schwann cells are also responsible for determining the structural organization of the node of Ranvier as well as for mediating the spacing and clustering of sodium channels in the axonal membrane and the separation of sodium from potassium channels. This chapter highlights the dependence of peripheral nerve function on SCs and presents evidence that alterations in SC protein expression and viability are responsible, in part, for diverse peripheral neuropathies.

Keywords: axons; Schwann cells; peripheral nerve function; peripheral neuropathies; myelin proteins

Chapter.  10020 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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