Saturday, June 8, 2013

Schwann cells

Schwann cells
Schwann cells support the peripheral nervous system, while the central nervous system is supported by glial cells. As the peripheral nerves form, the Schwann cells migrate peripherally from the spinal ganglia, parallel to the axons, and encase them with their cytoplasm. The myelin sheath is created by a synthesis and wrapping of Schwann cell plasma membrane around the axon. 

During the breakdown of damaged axons Schwann cells participate in myelin phagocytosis prior to the recruitment of macrophages. They produce heat shock protein, only when they have transformed into these myelin eating cells from myelinating cells. I am convinced that during the die-off some axons do die and Schwann cells would change to their phagocytic mode in order to absorb the dead axons. Research might find that whole neurons die-off at this time, rather than just certain dendrite connections.