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Node of Ranvier length as a potential regulator of myelinated axon conduction speed

Arancibia-Carcamo, IL; Ford, MC; Cossell, L; Ishida, K; Tohyama, K; Attwell, D; (2017) Node of Ranvier length as a potential regulator of myelinated axon conduction speed. eLife , 6 , Article e23329. 10.7554/eLife.23329. Green open access

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Abstract

Myelination speeds conduction of the nerve impulse, enhancing cognitive power. Changes of white matter structure contribute to learning, and are often assumed to reflect an altered number of myelin wraps. We now show that, in rat optic nerve and cerebral cortical axons, the node of Ranvier length varies over a 4.4-fold and 8.7-fold range respectively and that variation of the node length is much less along axons than between axons. Modelling predicts that these node length differences will alter conduction speed by ~20%, similar to the changes produced by altering the number of myelin wraps or the internode length. For a given change of conduction speed, the membrane area change needed at the node is >270-fold less than that needed in the myelin sheath. Thus, axon-specific adjustment of node of Ranvier length is potentially an energy-efficient and rapid mechanism for tuning the arrival time of information in the CNS.

Type: Article
Title: Node of Ranvier length as a potential regulator of myelinated axon conduction speed
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.7554/eLife.23329
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.23329
Language: English
Additional information: © 2017, Arancibia-Carcamo et al This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Neuro, Physiology and Pharmacology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > The Sainsbury Wellcome Centre
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Wolfson Inst for Biomedical Research
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1539057
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