[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: After central nervous system (CNS) demyelination-such as occurs during multiple sclerosis-there is often spontaneous regeneration of myelin sheaths, mainly by oligodendrocytes but also by Schwann cells. The origins of the remyelinating cells have not previously been established. We have used Cre-lox fate mapping in transgenic mice to show that PDGFRA/NG2-expressing glia, a distributed population of stem/progenitor cells in the adult CNS, produce the remyelinating oligodendrocytes and almost all of the Schwann cells in chemically induced demyelinated lesions. In contrast, the great majority of reactive astrocytes in the vicinity of the lesions are derived from preexisting FGFR3-expressing cells, likely to be astrocytes. These data resolve a long-running debate about the origins of the main players in CNS remyelination and reveal a surprising capacity of CNS precursors to generate Schwann cells, which normally develop from the embryonic neural crest and are restricted to the peripheral nervous system.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to link our knowledge of single neurons with theories of network function, it has been a long-standing goal to manipulate the activity and gene expression of identified subsets of mammalian neurons within the intact brain in vivo. This protocol describes a method for delivering plasmid DNA into single identified mammalian neurons in vivo, by combining two-photon imaging with single-cell electroporation. Surgery, mounting of a chronic recording chamber and targeted electroporation of identified neurons can be performed within 1-2 h. Stable transgene expression can reliably be induced with high success rates both in single neurons as well as in small, spatially defined networks of neurons in the cerebral cortex of rodents.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Platelet-derived growth factor alpha receptor (PDGFRA)/NG2-expressing glia are distributed throughout the adult CNS. They are descended from oligodendrocyte precursors (OLPs) in the perinatal CNS, but it is not clear whether they continue to generate myelinating oligodendrocytes or other differentiated cells during normal adult life. We followed the fates of adult OLPs in Pdgfra-creER(T2)/Rosa26-YFP double-transgenic mice and found that they generated many myelinating oligodendrocytes during adulthood; >20% of all oligodendrocytes in the adult mouse corpus callosum were generated after 7 weeks of age, raising questions about the function of the late-myelinating axons. OLPs also produced some myelinating cells in the cortex, but the majority of adult-born cortical cells did not appear to myelinate. We found no evidence for astrocyte production in gray or white matter. However, small numbers of projection neurons were generated in the forebrain, especially in the piriform cortex, which is the main target of the olfactory bulb.