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Int J Dev Neurosci. 2001 Jul;19(4):379-85.

Oligodendrocyte development in the spinal cord and telencephalon: common themes and new perspectives.

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Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research, The Cruciform Building, University College London, Gower Street, WC1E 6AU, London, UK.


There are clear parallels between oligodendrocyte development in the spinal cord and forebrain. However, there is new evidence that in both of these regions oligodendrocyte lineage development may be more complex than we earlier thought. This stems from the recent identification of three new transcription factor genes, Olig1, Olig2 and Sox10, that are expressed from the early stages of oligodendrocyte lineage development. In this article, we highlight the common themes underlying specification and early development of oligodendrocytes in the spinal cord and telencephalon. Then, we discuss recent studies of Sox10 and the Olig genes and their implications for oligodendrocyte specification. We conclude that although the mechanisms of oligodendrogenesis appear to be fundamentally similar at different rostro-caudal levels of the neuraxis, there are still many unanswered questions about the details of oligodendrocyte specification.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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