News, SPPIN seminars

04/05 – Bilal EL WALY : Practice makes myelin, and myelin makes perfect

SPPIN’s webinar winter-spring 2021, 4 apr. at 10h30, online – Ask link to a SPPIN member.

Bilal EL WALY – Institut de Neurosciences de la Timone, Marseille

Practice makes myelin, and myelin makes perfect

Recently several studies highlighted the primordial and central role of myelin in the central nervous system. Indeed, newly generated myelin is involved in the acquisition of new functions, in the stabilization of neuronal networks, in the plasticity of the central nervous system and the coordination between several neuronal information. Myelin alteration is associated with neuronal death in several neurodegenerative diseases. It is also playing a crucial role in the interaction of the immune system and the nervous system and particularly in autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

These last years my work has been devoted to the characterization of myelin regeneration. In the first part of my presentation, I will show you an unexpected level of neural plasticity, with the discovery of spontaneous cell reprogramming in the brain. We demonstrated that following a demyelination insult, neuroblasts can change fate and adopt an oligodendrocyte identity; furthermore, we identified key transcription factors with which we could force this reprogramming in-vivo in order to improve myelin repair. In the second part of my talk, I would like to share with you my current project in which, using a longitudinal intravital imaging, I revealed that a rich environment promotes the myelination of specific neurons that in turn will be protected from a potential degeneration in a context of demyelination. And finally, I will describe in a few slides the perspective of this project and the importance of this environment-myelin crosstalk. I would be happy to share with you these results and questions, and benefit from your experience and multidisciplinary knowledge.