Oligodendrocytes express synaptic proteins that modulate myelin sheath formation.Nat Commun 2019; 10(1):4125NC
Vesicular release from neurons promotes myelin sheath growth on axons. Oligodendrocytes express proteins that allow dendrites to respond to vesicular release at synapses, suggesting that axon-myelin contacts use similar communication mechanisms as synapses to form myelin sheaths. To test this, we used fusion proteins to track synaptic vesicle localization and membrane fusion in zebrafish during developmental myelination and investigated expression and localization of PSD95, a dendritic post-synaptic protein, within oligodendrocytes. Synaptic vesicles accumulate and exocytose at ensheathment sites with variable patterning and most sheaths localize PSD95 with patterning similar to exocytosis site location. Disruption of candidate PDZ-binding transsynaptic adhesion proteins in oligodendrocytes cause variable effects on sheath length and number. One candidate, Cadm1b, localizes to myelin sheaths where both PDZ binding and extracellular adhesion to axons mediate sheath growth. Our work raises the possibility that axon-glial communication contributes to myelin plasticity, providing new targets for mechanistic unraveling of developmental myelination.