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J Neurosci Res. 2000 Feb 1;59(3):421-9.

Tracing human oligodendroglial development in vitro.

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1
Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA. zhangs@svm.vetmed.wisc.edu

Abstract

Human neural precursor cell cultures (neurospheres) were established from fetal brain tissues of 15-20 gestation weeks and propagated for over a year in the presence of epidermal growth factor, basic fibroblast growth factor and leukemia inhibitory factor. Neurospheres were differentiated without the presence of above growth factors to follow the development of oligodendroglia. Oligodendroglial progenitors, identified by their bipolar morphology and expression of platelet-derived growth factor receptor-alpha (PDGFRalpha), emerged from spheres as early as 1 DIV; O4+ cells with bipolar to multipolar processes were observed at 3 DIV whereas O1+ multiprocess-bearing oligodendroglia did not appear until 5-7 DIV. They further differentiated to myelin basic protein-expressing oligodendrocytes after 2-3 weeks in culture. Thus, human oligodendroglial maturation in vitro follows the same pathway as rat cells but takes twice as long as their rodent counterparts. Bromodeoxyuridine incorporation indicated that PDGFRalpha-expressing cells but not O4+ oligodendroglia proliferated. More oligodendroglial progenitors incorporated BrdU and more O4+ cells survived when they were in contact with neurons and astrocytes than when they developed beyond the astrocyte layer. In addition, oligodendroglia on astrocytes had a complex process branching whereas those growing beyond astrocyte layer often formed membrane sheaths. Thus the survival, proliferation and maturation of oligodendroglia are influenced by other cell types.

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