Oligodendrocytes and progenitors become progressively depleted within chronically demyelinated lesions.

Department of Pathology and the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA.
American Journal Of Pathology (Impact Factor: 4.6). 06/2004; 164(5):1673-82. DOI: 10.1016/S0002-9440(10)63726-1
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To understand mechanisms that may underlie the progression of a demyelinated lesion to a chronic state, we have used the cuprizone model of chronic demyelination. In this study, we investigated the fate of oligodendrocytes during the progression of a demyelinating lesion to a chronic state and determined whether transplanted adult oligodendrocyte progenitors could remyelinate the chronically demyelinated axons. Although there is rapid regeneration of the oligodendrocyte population following an acute lesion, most of these newly regenerated cells undergo apoptosis if mice remain on a cuprizone diet. Furthermore, the oligodendrocyte progenitors also become progressively depleted within the lesion, which appears to contribute to the chronic demyelination. Interestingly, even if the mice are returned to a normal diet following 12 weeks of exposure to cuprizone, remyelination and oligodendrocyte regeneration does not occur. However, if adult O4+ progenitors are transplanted into the chronically demyelinated lesion of mice treated with cuprizone for 12 weeks, mature oligodendrocyte regeneration and remyelination occurs after the mice are returned to a normal diet. Thus, the formation of chronically demyelinated lesions induced by cuprizone appears to be the result of oligodendrocyte depletion within the lesion and not due to the inability of the chronically demyelinated axons to be remyelinated.

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    ABSTRACT: NG2 cells, also referred to as oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) or polydendrocytes, represent a major resident glial cell population that is distinct from mature astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, microglia, and neural stem cells and exist throughout the gray and white matter of the developing and mature central nervous system (CNS). While their most established fate is the oligodendrocyte, they retain lineage plasticity in an age- and region-specific manner. During development, they contribute to 36% of protoplasmic astrocytes in the ventral forebrain. Despite intense investigation on the neuronal fate of NG2 cells, there is no definitive evidence that they contribute substantially to the neuronal population. NG2 cells have attributes that suggest that they have functions other than to generate oligodendrocytes, but their exact role in the neural network remains unknown. Under pathological states, NG2 cells not only contribute to myelin repair, but they become activated in response to a wide variety of insults and could play a primary role in pathogenesis.
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