A culture system that can recapitulate myelination in vitro will not only help us better understand the mechanism of myelination and demyelination, but also find out possible therapeutic interventions for treating demyelinating diseases. Here, we introduce a simple and reproducible myelination culture system using mouse motor neurons (MNs) and Schwann cells (SCs). Dissociated motor neurons are plated on a feeder layer of SCs, which interact with and wrap around the axons of MNs as they differentiate in culture. In our MN-SC coculture system, MNs survived over 3 weeks and extended long axons. Both viability and axon growth of MNs in the coculture were markedly enhanced as compared to those of MN monoculture. Co-labeling of myelin basic proteins (MBPs) and neuronal microtubules revealed that SC formed myelin sheaths by wrapping around the axons of MNs. Furthermore, using the coculture system we found that treatment of an antioxidant substance coenzyme Q10 (Co-Q10) markedly facilitated myelination.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to thank Su Song Kim for the TEM preparation. Special thanks to Nara Choi and Ji Hye Park for their technical help. This research was supported by National Agenda Project of Korea National Research Council of Science & Technology (NAP-09-04 to JKFS), Institutional grants from KIST (2N38341 to JKFS; 2V04020 and 2E25472 to EMH), the Pioneer Research Center Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (NRF-2010-0019347 to EMH), and the Convergence Technology Development Program for Bionic Arm through the National Research Foundation of Korea(NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT & Future Planning (2014M3C1B2048419 to JK).
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