Thrombin receptor PAR-1 on myelin at the node of Ranvier: A new anatomy and physiology of conduction block

Efrat Shavit, Orit Beilin, Amos D. Korczyn, Constantin Sylantiev, Ramona Aronovich, Vivian E. Drory, David Gurwitz, Ido Horresh, Rachel Bar-Shavit, Elior Peles, Joab Chapman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Inflammatory demyelinating diseases of peripheral nerves are associated with altered nerve conduction and with activation of the coagulation pathway. Thrombin mediates many of its effects through protease-activated receptor 1 (PAR-1). We examined the possibility that thrombin may mediate conduction abnormalities through PAR-1 on rat sciatic nerve. PAR-1 was found to be present by both RT-PCR and Western blot analysis of the sciatic nerve. Activation of PAR-1 by a specific peptide agonist caused a 3-fold increase in phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) in the sciatic nerve indicating the existence of functional receptors in the nerve. By confocal immunofluoresence microscopy of the sciatic nerve using anti-PAR-1 antibody and double staining for the paranodal marker contactin-associated protein 1 (Caspr1) or the nodal markers gliomedin and ezrin, the receptor was localized predominantly to myelin microvilli at the node of Ranvier. Thrombin and the PAR-1-specific agonist were applied to exposed rat sciatic nerve and their effects on nerve conduction were measured. Thrombin at concentrations of 100 and 200 U/ml and PAR-1 agonists 150 and 300 μM produced a conduction block within 30 min of application. This effect was maintained for at least 1 h and was reversible by washing. The function of the nodal non-compacted myelin is not well known. The current results implicate this structure and PAR-1 activation in the pathogenesis of conduction block in inflammatory and thrombotic nerve diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1113-1122
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2008


  • Conduction block
  • Node of Ranvier
  • Protease activated receptors
  • Thrombin


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