Myelination in vitro of rodent dorsal root ganglia by glial progenitor cells

J Zajicek, A Compston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Oligodendrocytes synthesize myelin in the mammalian central nervous system; they develop from glial progenitors which, at least in vitro, are bipotential and also differentiate into astrocytes. Maturation of these O-2A progenitors is known to be influenced by growth factors and by extracellular matrix molecules. We investigated the effect of neurons on glial development by co-culturing highly purified rodent embryonic dorsal root ganglia with neonatal O-2A progenitors. Neurons produce signals, including platelet-derived growth factor BB and basic fibroblast growth factor, which stimulate progenitor cells to synthesize DNA; axonal contact is associated with down-regulation in the expression of complex ganglioside surface molecules on O-2A progenitors; with maturation, many of these cells develop into oligodendrocytes allowing the normal process of myelination to take place, but neurons also promote the differentiation of type 2 astrocytes. This orchestration of proliferation and differentiation in O-2A progenitor cells favours the development of glial-neuronal interactions needed for saltatory conduction of the nerve impulse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1333-50
Number of pages18
Volume117 ( Pt 6)
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1994


  • Animals
  • Astrocytes
  • Cell Division
  • DNA
  • Fibroblast Growth Factor 2
  • Ganglia, Spinal
  • Gangliosides
  • Myelin Sheath
  • Neurons
  • Oligodendroglia
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-sis
  • Rats
  • Recruitment, Neurophysiological
  • Stem Cells


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