The disc of the optic nerve is a source of glial cells

Scientists have discovered a population of mitotically active cells in the region of the lamina of the optic nerve where the axons of retinal ganglion cells begin to acquire myelin and form the optic nerve. As stated in an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, these cells formed astrocytes and oligodendrocytes, which are involved in myelination of the optic nerve, however, with age, the supply of these cells decreases, potentially to explain to the senile decrease in vision and the severity of glaucoma in the elderly.

The optic nerve consists of axons of retinal ganglion cells, which collect information from multiple photoreceptor cells. These axons are not covered with myelin, they get it closer to the optic chiasm. However, the exact place of postnatal axonal growth and the mechanism by which myelination remain unclear.

Before you gather in the optic nerve axons, retinal ganglion cells pass through the lamina of the optic nerve is a narrow congestion area of glial cells, permeated by numerous blood vessels at the beginning of the nerve. It is already known that in this region there is no myelin and the growth of phagocytic astrocytes, as well as reduced level aquaporin-4.

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