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J Neurocytol. 2002 Jul-Aug;31(6-7):469-80.

Defining the NG2-expressing cell of the adult CNS.

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Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Washington, 325 Ninth Ave Box 359655, Seattle, WA 98104, USA.


The NG2 proteoglycan is believed to be an in vivo marker for oligodendrocyte progenitors found in the developing brain. The prevalence of NG2-expressing cells that remain in the adult CNS following the end of gliogenesis is significant. Current research is focused on how this cell participates in the normal function of the adult CNS and whether it may be activated by injury and/or contribute to repair. Despite substantial evidence for a sub-population of NG2-expressing cells playing a glial progenitor role in the adult CNS, there is much to be learned. Specifically, the heterogeneity of this population has not been adequately addressed for the adult CNS and while NG2 cells continue to divide in the adult CNS it is not clear what function they serve once myelination is complete. Future studies should elucidate the functional importance of NG2 in a variety of cell functions and shed light on the role NG2-expressing cells play in the intact and diseased CNS.

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