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Myelin in Cartilaginous Fish

Myelin is probably one of the most fascinating and innovative biological acquisition: a glia plasma membrane tightly wrapped around an axon and insulating it. Chondrichthyans (cartilaginous fishes) form a large group of vertebrates, and they are among oldest extant jawed vertebrate lineage. It has been known from studies 150 years ago, that they are positioned at the root of the successful appearance of compact myelin and main adhesive proteins in vertebrates. More importantly, the ultrastructure of their compact myelin is indistinguishable from the one observed in tetrapods and the first true myelin basic protein (MBP) and myelin protein zero (MPZ) seem to have originated on cartilaginous fish or their ancestors, the placoderms. Thus, the study of their myelin formation would bring new insights in vertebrate's myelin evolution. Chondrichthyans central nervous system (CNS) myelin composition is also very similar to peripheral nervous system (PNS) myelin composition. And while they lack true proteolipid protein (PLP) like tetrapods, they express a DM-like protein in their myelin.

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