Field of research: Neurobiology
Lab: Carmen Melendez
School: Manhattan Hunter Science High School
Year: 10th/11th Grade
Immunostaining of Oligodendrocyte Cytoskeleton
Oligodendrocytes are special glial cells that wrap around axons and make myelin sheaths in the central nervous system (CNS). Recent data from the laboratory indicate that myosin II is a key regulator of glial cell cytoskeleton dynamics and myelination. We have found that myosin II is localized in actin-rich structures at the tips of oligodendrocytes branches. In order to further characterize the sub-cellular localization of myosin II, oligodendrocytes were stained with different antibodies against focal adhesions in both proliferating and differentiating conditions. Staining with antibodies against FAK (focal adhesion kinase), integrin ß1 and vinculin revealed that myosin II is not found within focal adhesions. Given the results the identification of myosin II sub-cellular localization awaits further research, which might require immunoelectron microscopy.