ADVERTISEMENT

Image 3

In the disease multiple sclerosis, the body's immune system mistakenly attacks myelin, the fatty, protein-packed insulating material that surrounds axons, the long tendrils of neurons. The destruction of this myelin sheath dramatically impairs the ability of neurons to conduct impulses. Oligodendrocyte cells make the myelin and wrap it around an axon in layers. Below, an oligodendrocyte (green) is preparing to cloak axons (purple) in myelin.

THIS IS A PREVIEW. or subscribe to access the full article.



COURTESY OF ALAN HOOFRING NIH Medical Arts (illustration); COURTESY OF R. DOUGLAS FIELDS National Institutes of Health (micrograph)

solving-the-mystery-of-ms_3.jpg

THIS IS A PREVIEW. or subscribe to access the full article.
Share this Article:

Comments

You must sign in or register as a ScientificAmerican.com member to submit a comment.

Back to School Sale!

One year just $19.99

Order now >

X

Email this Article

X