Myelin Provides Metabolic Support to Brain Cells: Study

Myelin, the fatty-rich material surrounding nerve fibers that’s progressively damaged in multiple sclerosis (MS), provides metabolic support to a type of nerve cell in the brain that controls the activity of other nerve cells, a study discovered.

Researchers showed mitochondria, the cell’s energy producers, are specifically clustered in myelinated regions from parvalbumin (PV) cells, a high-activity nerve cell that helps balance brain activity by suppressing, or inhibiting, some nerve signals.

“We suspect that it has to do with the fact that PV cells have an incredibly high energy demand due to their high level of activity,” Koen Kole, PhD, study first author at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, said in a university press release.

The discovery was reported in Nature Communications, in the study, “Parvalbumin basket cell myelination accumulates axonal mitochondria to internodes.”

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