Sections of brain and spinal cord of mice and rats at 1, 3, 5, and 17 days after birth were examined with the electron microscope. In the early stages of myelinization only two to four lamellae surround the axon. These laminae are formed from the plasma membraces of glial processes, and in particular of oligodendroglial processes. In a later stage of myelinization a larger number of flattened glial processes surround the axon with enclosed cytoplasm trapped within some of the membranes. Multiple extensions of the membranes of the flattened glial processes to the lamellae of the myelinated sheath are evident at this stage, with a variable number of membranes within the sheath at various positions along the fiber.
Newly formed myelinated sheaths are sometimes larger than their enclosed fibers, extending as a projection of sheath which does not surround axoplasm. Loci are present in which the myelinated sheath is incomplete or interrupted.