Experience-related reductions of myelin and axon diameter in adulthood.
Lazari A., Koudelka S., Sampaio-Baptista C.
The production of new myelin has been highlighted as an underappreciated mechanism of brain plasticity, but whether plastic decreases in myelin also happen in the adult brain has been largely unexplored. Recently, Sinclair et al. (Sinclair JS, Fischl MJ, Alexandrova O, Heß M, Grothe B, Leibold C, and Kopp-Scheinpflug C. J Neurosci 37: 8239-8255, 2017) have shown that auditory deprivation can lead to decrease in myelination and axon caliber even in healthy adulthood. These findings show that activity-regulated myelination is more complex than previously thought and expand our knowledge of how adult brain plasticity could operate on a cellular level.