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Mult Scler. 1997 Apr;3(2):162-7.

Inhibition of oligodendrocyte precursor motility by oligodendrocyte processes: implications for transplantation-based approaches to multiple sclerosis.

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Wellcome/CRC Institute of Developmental Biology and Cancer, Cambridge, UK.


Transplantation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells represents a promising approach to the treatment of the chronic demyelinated lesions of multiple sclerosis. In view of the multi-focal nature of the disease it will be necessary for the transplanted oligodendrocyte precursor cells to migrate through normal white matter between lesions. Work in other systems has shown that differentiated oligodendrocytes within white matter express molecules inhibitory for axon outgrowth. In light of this we have examined the effect of oligodendrocytes on the migration of oligodendrocyte precursors in vitro using time lapse video microscopy. We find that oligodendrocytes induce collapse and loss of motility in oligodendrocyte precursor processes, with this effect being lost as oligodendrocytes undergo programmed cell death. We conclude that the inhibitory factors present on differentiated oligodendrocytes may prevent effective migration between lesion in vivo, and that strategies to overcome this inhibition may be required for successful repair.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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