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Development. 2006 Feb;133(4):581-90. Epub 2006 Jan 11.

Motoneurons and oligodendrocytes are sequentially generated from neural stem cells but do not appear to share common lineage-restricted progenitors in vivo.

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  • 1Interdepartmental Program in Neuroscience, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112, USA.


Olig gene expression is proposed to mark the common progenitors of motoneurons and oligodendrocytes. In an attempt to further dissect the in vivo lineage relationships between motoneurons and oligodendrocytes, we used a conditional cell-ablation approach to kill Olig-expressing cells. Although differentiated motoneurons and oligodendrocytes were eliminated, our ablation study revealed a continuous generation and subsequent death of their precursors. Most remarkably, a normal number of oligodendrocyte precursors are formed at day 12 of mouse development, after all motoneuron precursors have been killed. The data presented herein supports a sequential model in which motoneuron and oligodendrocyte precursors are sequentially generated in vivo from neuroepithelial stem cells, but do not share a common lineage-restricted progenitor.

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