Oligodendrocyte progenitors balance growth with self-repulsion to achieve homeostasis in the adult brain

Ethan G. Hughes, Shin H. Kang, Masahiro Fukaya, Dwight E. Bergles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The adult CNS contains an abundant population of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (NG2 + cells) that generate oligodendrocytes and repair myelin, but how these ubiquitous progenitors maintain their density is unknown. We generated NG2-mEGFP mice and used in vivo two-photon imaging to study their dynamics in the adult brain. Time-lapse imaging revealed that NG2 + cells in the cortex were highly dynamic; they surveyed their local environment with motile filopodia, extended growth cones and continuously migrated. They maintained unique territories though self-avoidance, and NG2 + cell loss though death, differentiation or ablation triggered rapid migration and proliferation of adjacent cells to restore their density. NG2 + cells recruited to sites of focal CNS injury were similarly replaced by a proliferative burst surrounding the injury site. Thus, homeostatic control of NG2 + cell density through a balance of active growth and self-repulsion ensures that these progenitors are available to replace oligodendrocytes and participate in tissue repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)668-676
Number of pages9
JournalNature neuroscience
Volume16
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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