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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2007 Nov;36(3):355-68. Epub 2007 Aug 1.

Sonic hedgehog promotes the migration and proliferation of optic nerve oligodendrocyte precursors.

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  • 1Grupo de Neurobiología del Desarrollo, Hospital Nacional de Parapléjicos, Finca La Peraleda, s/n, E-45071-Toledo, Spain.


Optic nerve (ON) oligodendrocyte precursors (OPCs) are generated under the influence of the Sonic hedgehog (Shh) in the preoptic area from where they migrate to colonise the entire nerve. The molecular events that control this migration are still poorly understood. Recent studies suggested that Shh is often used by the same cell population to control different processes, including cell proliferation and migration, raising the possibility that Shh could contribute to these aspects of OPC development. In support of this idea, we show here that Shh induces the proliferation of OPCs derived from embryonic mouse ON explants and acts as a chemoattractant for their migration. In ovo injections of hybridomas secreting Shh-specific blocking antibody decreases the number of OPCs present in chick ONs, particularly in the retinal portion of the nerve. Altogether these data indicate that Shh contributes to OPC proliferation and distribution along the ON, in addition to their specification.

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