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Development. 2010 Jul;137(13):2127-32. doi: 10.1242/dev.050633. Epub 2010 May 26.

Control of oligodendroglial cell number by the miR-17-92 cluster.

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Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine, Hermann-Rein-Strasse 3, D-37075 Göttingen, Germany.


The generation of myelinating cells in the central nervous system requires the initiation of specific gene expression programs in oligodendrocytes. We reasoned that microRNAs (miRNAs) could play an important role in this process by regulating crucial developmental genes. Microarray profiling of cultured oligodendrocytes identified the miR-17-92 miRNA cluster as highly enriched in oligodendrocytes. We specifically deleted the miR-17-92 cluster in oligodendrocytes using 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3' phosphodiesterase (Cnp)-Cre mice. Absence of miR-17-92 leads to a reduction in oligodendrocyte number in vivo and we find that the expression of these miRNAs in primary cultures of oligodendrocyte precursor cells promotes cell proliferation by influencing Akt signaling. Together, these results suggest that the miRNA pathway is essential in determining oligodendroglial cell number and that the miR-17-92 cluster is crucial in this process.

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