The picture is an intuitive pictorial representation of the role of myelin sheath in the axonal functioning, as we hypothesize it. In fact, we have shown that myelin utilizes oxygen to produce ATP, expressing ectopic functional mitochondrial Respiratory Chains (see [15] [28]). This has the potential to overturn the paradigm that aerobic ATP production be exclusive of mitochondria, and that myelin is an insulating sheath. Rather, it would convey ATP to the axon to sustain nerve impulse, which is here intuitively represented by an “energetic contraction”. (Note that, at the molecular level, myelin would be more densely packed upon its energization after proton binding to MBP).
Experimental evidence in favour of this new vision springs from our paper Adriano et al [26].