<  Back to the Polytechnique Montréal portal

Axon and myelin morphology in animal and human spinal cord

Ariane Saliani, Blanche Perraud, Tanguy Duval, Nikola Stikov, Serge Rossignol and Julien Cohen-Adad

Article (2017)

Terms of Use: Creative Commons Attribution .
Download (1MB)
Cite this document: Saliani, A., Perraud, B., Duval, T., Stikov, N., Rossignol, S. & Cohen-Adad, J. (2017). Axon and myelin morphology in animal and human spinal cord. Frontiers in Neuroanatomy, 11. doi:10.3389/fnana.2017.00129
Show abstract Hide abstract


Characterizing precisely the microstructure of axons, their density, size and myelination is of interest for the neuroscientific community, for example to help maximize the outcome of studies on white matter (WM) pathologies of the spinal cord (SC). The existence of a comprehensive and structured database of axonal measurements in healthy and disease models could help the validation of results obtained by different researchers. The purpose of this article is to provide such a database of healthy SC WM, to discuss the potential sources of variability and to suggest avenues for robust and accurate quantification of axon morphometry based on novel acquisition and processing techniques. The article is organized in three sections. The first section reviews morphometric results across species according to range of densities and counts of myelinated axons, axon diameter and myelin thickness, and characteristics of unmyelinated axons in different regions. The second section discusses the sources of variability across studies, such as age, sex, spinal pathways, spinal levels, statistical power and terminology in regard to tracts and protocols. The third section presents new techniques and perspectives that could benefit histology studies. For example, coherent anti-stokes Raman spectroscopy (CARS) imaging can provide sub-micrometric resolution without the need for fixation and staining, while slide scanners and stitching algorithms can provide full cross-sectional area of SC. In combination with these acquisition techniques, automatic segmentation algorithms for delineating axons and myelin sheath can help provide large-scale statistics on axon morphometry.

Uncontrolled Keywords

axons; histology; morphology; myelin; spinal cord; white matter

Open Access document in PolyPublie
Subjects: 1900 Génie biomédical > 1900 Génie biomédical
2500 Génie électrique et électronique > 2500 Génie électrique et électronique
9000 Sciences de la santé > 9000 Sciences de la santé
Department: Département de génie électrique
Institut de génie biomédical
Research Center: Autre
Funders: Canada Research Chair in Quantitative Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Canadian Institute of Health Research, Canada Foundation for Innovation, Fonds de Recherche du Québec - Santé, Fonds de Recherche du Québec - Nature et Technologies, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, IVADO grant program, Quebec BioImaging Network
Grant number: JC-A, CIHR FDN-143263, 32454, 28826, 2015-PR-182754, 435897-2013
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2020 12:01
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2021 10:43
PolyPublie URL: https://publications.polymtl.ca/3595/
Document issued by the official publisher
Journal Title: Frontiers in Neuroanatomy (vol. 11)
Publisher: Frontiers
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3389/fnana.2017.00129


Total downloads

Downloads per month in the last year

Origin of downloads


Repository Staff Only