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Neuron-Glia interactions in nerve development and disease

Coordinator: Dies MEIJER
Project Number: 201535
EC contribution: 3,000,000.00
Project website: http://www.ngidd.eu/

The characteristic appearance of white matter in the nervous system results from a remarkable cellular structure called myelin. This membraneous sheath is wrapped around axons by dedicated glial cells, thereby allowing the rapid propagation of impulses along the axons. The importance of the myelin sheath is underscored by the many neurological diseases that are caused by loss or destabilization of the myelin sheath, such as multiple sclerosis, leukodystrophies and peripheral neuropathies. The formation and maintenance of myelin by Schwann cells and oligodendrocytes results from close interactions between the neuron and glia cell. However, despite the vast importance of myelin to the normal physiological function of the nervous system, the molecular mechanisms underlying axon-glial communication in health and disease still remains largely unknown. In this collaborative project we aim to unravel these molecular mechanisms, discover novel molecules involved in neuron-glia communication and identify and test new targets for pharmaceutical intervention to aid the regenerative capacity of the nervous system.

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