August 2011

Document Type


Degree Name



Oregon Health & Science University


Large caliber axons are wrapped in a thick insulating membrane known as myelin, which vastly improves the speed and efficiency of electrical signaling in the nervous system. Central nervous system (CNS) myelin is synthesized by glia cells named oligodendrocytes (OLs), which arise from oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs). Both myelin and OLs are destroyed following a number of insults to the adult CNS, including traumatic injury, ischemia, and diseases like multiple sclerosis. Remyelination following each of these insults requires the recruitment of OPCs to demyelinated lesions and their subsequent maturation into myelin--producing OLs. Remyelination is typically an incomplete process in the CNS, likely due to inhibitory molecules found within demyelinated lesions. Hyaluronic acid (HA; also called hyaluronan) is a core component of the extracellular matrix (ECM) of all tissues and is secreted by glia in demyelinated lesions. HA accumulates in chronic demyelinated lesions and has be




Neuroscience Graduate Program


School of Medicine



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