Liliana Pedraza, Phd
Liliana Pedraza's research seeks to understand how the myelin sheath forms during normal axonal development. This knowledge is crucial for understanding demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis. The mechanisms by which the myelin sheath is generated remain elusive. Pedraza and her colleagues study the pattern of new membrane addition to forming myelin, and the dynamic movements of protein, lipid and cytoplasmic compartments, using selected fluorescent-labeled myelin proteins or axonal moieties as reference markers. Their approach studies living, actively myelinating cells observed directly by high-resolution confocal microscopy. Pedraza's team also uses transgenic zebrafish, expressing green-fluorescent-protein (GFP) under the control of a glia-specific promoter, as a model to study in vivo myelination. GFP is expressed in oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells at the time that the myelination program starts, which enables an analysis of the forming myelinating structures in vivo. In addition to trying to understand how myelin forms, she uses this model to study remyelination after laser-ablation of single oligodendrocytes or after chemically induced demyelination. All of her studies are directed at critical, long-standing questions about the sequential events that control the myelination program from both the glial and the neuronal perspective.
Liliana Pedraza, Jeffrey K. Huang and David Colman Disposition of Axonal Caspr With Respect to Glial Cell Membranes: Implications for the Process of Myelination J. Neurosci. Res., 2009 Jan 23 (Epub ahead of print).
Huang JK, Phillips GR, Roth AD, Pedraza L, Shan W, Belkaid W, Mi S, Fex-Svenningsen A, Florens L, Yates JR 3rd, Colman DR. Glial membranes at the node of Ranvier prevent neurite outgrowth. Science. 2005 Dec 16;310(5755):1813-7.
Svenningsen AF, Colman DR and Pedraza L. Satellite cells of dorsal root ganglia are multipotential glial precursors. Neuron Glia Biology, 2004 1:85-93.
Svenningsen AF, Shan W-S, Colman DR and Pedraza L A rapid method for culturing embryonic neuron-glial co-cultures J. Neurosci. Res. 2003 Jun 1;72(5):565-73.
Pedraza L, Huang JK and Colman DR. Organizing principles of the axoglial apparatus. Neuron. 2001 May;30(2):335-44