Glial βii spectrin contributes to paranode formation and maintenance

Keiichiro Susuki, Daniel R. Zollinger, Kae Jiun Chang, Chuansheng Zhang, Claire Yu Mei Huang, Chang Ru Tsai, Mauricio R. Galiano, Yanhong Liu, Savannah D. Benusa, Leonid M. Yermakov, Ryan B. Griggs, Jeffrey L. Dupree, Matthew N. Rasband

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Action potential conduction along myelinated axons depends on high densities of voltage-gated Na channels at the nodes of Ranvier. Flanking each node, paranodal junctions (paranodes) are formed between axons and Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) or oligodendrocytes intheCNS. Paranodal junctions contribute to both no deassembly and maintenance. Despitetheir importance, the molecular mechanisms responsible for paranode assembly and maintenance remain poorly understood. βII spectrin is expressed in diverse cells and is an essential part of the submembranous cytoskeleton. Here, we show that Schwann cell βII spectrin is highly enriched at paranodes. To elucidate the roles of glial βII spectrin, we generated mutant mice lacking βII spectrin in myelinating glial cells by crossing mice with a floxed allele of Sptbn1 with Cnp-Cre mice, and analyzed both male and female mice. Juvenile (4 weeks) and middle-aged (60 weeks) mutant mice showed reduced grip strength and sciatic nerve conduction slowing, whereas no phenotype was observed between 8 and 24 weeks of age. Consistent with these findings, immunofluorescence microscopy revealed disorganized paranodes in the PNS and CNS of both postnatal day 13 and middle-aged mutant mice, but not in young adult mutant mice. Electron microscopy confirmed partial loss of transverse bands at the paranodal axoglial junction in the middle-aged mutant mice in both the PNS and CNS. These findings demonstrate that a spectrin-based cytoskeleton in myelinating glia contributes to formation and maintenance of paranodal junctions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6063-6075
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number27
StatePublished - Jul 4 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Myelin
  • Node of Ranvier
  • Paranode
  • Spectrin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Glial βii spectrin contributes to paranode formation and maintenance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this