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Dev Biol. 2001 Mar 1;231(1):77-86.

Extensive proliferation of oligodendrocyte precursors in the parenchyma of the embryonic chick central nervous system.

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Department of Anatomy (Second Division), Shimane Medical University, Izumo, 693-8501, Japan.


The proliferation of oligodendrocyte lineage cells in the chick embryo central nervous system (CNS) was examined by double-immunolabeling with a lineage marker monoclonal antibody (mAb) O4 or mAb O1 and 5-bromo-3'-deoxyuridine (BrdU). In all regions examined, the first O4-positive (O4+) cells appeared in restricted regions of the ventricular zone (VZ), regarded as a site of oligodendrocyte origin. Within the O4+ focus, less than 20% of the O4+ cells incorporated BrdU. In contrast, O4+ cells in the parenchyma were mitotically active; for example, 40-50% of early O4+ cells were labeled with BrdU. Some of these were unipolar in shape, indicative of migratory precursor cells. The frequency of O4+/BrdU+ cell appearance decreased to less than 20% with further development. O1+ oligodendrocytes were largely mitotically inactive, with only approximately 5% of O1+ cells incorporating BrdU. These results clearly demonstrated that the VZ generates relatively few precursor cells and that these oligodendrocyte precursors actively generate their cohort in the parenchyma of the CNS.

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