Myelinogenic plasticity of oligodendrocyte precursor cells following spinal cord contusion injury

Peggy Assinck, Greg J. Duncan, Jason R. Plemel, Michael J. Lee, Jo A. Stratton, Sohrab B. Manesh, Jie Liu, Leanne M. Ramer, Shin H. Kang, Dwight E. Bergles, Jeff Biernaskie, Wolfram Tetzlaff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spontaneous remyelination occurs after spinal cord injury (SCI), but the extent of myelin repair and identity of the cells responsible remain incompletely understood and contentious. We assessed the cellular origin of new myelin by fate mapping platelet-derived growth factor receptor α (PDGFRα), Olig2+, and P0+ cells following contusion SCI in mice. Oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs; PDGFRα+) produced oligodendrocytes responsible for de novo ensheathment of ~30% of myelinated spinal axons at injury epicenter 3 months after SCI, demonstrating that these resident cells are a major contributor to oligodendrocyte regeneration. OPCs also produced the majority of myelinating Schwann cells in the injured spinal cord; invasion of peripheral myelinating (P0+) Schwann cells made only a limited contribution. These findings reveal that PDGFRα+ cells perform diverse roles in CNS repair, as multi-potential progenitors that generate both classes of myelinating cells. This endogenous repair might be exploited as a therapeutic target for CNS trauma and disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8635-8654
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number36
StatePublished - Sep 6 2017


  • Myelin
  • NG2 glia
  • OPCs
  • Oligodendrocytes
  • Schwann cells
  • Spinal cord injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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