The Role of Collagens in Peripheral Nerve Myelination and Function

Peiwen Chen*, Matilde Cescon, Paolo Bonaldo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


In the peripheral nervous system, myelin is formed by Schwann cells, which are surrounded by a basal lamina. Extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules in the basal lamina play an important role in regulating Schwann cell functions, including adhesion, survival, spreading, and myelination, as well as in supporting neurite outgrowth. Collagens are a major component of ECM molecules, which include 28 types that differ in structure and function. A growing body of evidence suggests that collagens are key components of peripheral nerves, where they not only provide a structural support but also affect cell behavior by triggering intracellular signals. In this review, we will summarize the main properties of collagen family, discuss the role of extensively studied collagen types (collagens IV, V, VI, and XV) in Schwann cell function and myelination, and provide a detailed overview of the recent advances with respect to these collagens in peripheral nerve function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-225
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 25 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Collagen
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Myelination
  • PNS function
  • Peripheral nervous system
  • Schwann cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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