What we learned about myelin biology by volume EM
By using mouse genetics we investigate the cell biology and functions of the myelinating glia cells in the central as well as in the peripheral nervous system. By electron microscopy, one astonishing feature of myelin is the appearance as a solid and rather non-dynamic structure. Also, myelin proteins are known to turn over very slowly. To address this question we apply inducible knock-out strategies in the adult mouse, we can observe spatial and temporal changes in the myelin ultrastructure. To understand these and other myelin-related structural processes better, we developed protocols in electron microscopy to visualize structural features in normal and diseased state. With the help of a focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) we are able to add the third dimension to the ultrastructural analysis which is indispensable for the understanding of complex tissues or local connectivity.