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J Neurosci Res. 1997 Oct 15;50(2):215-28.

FGF-2 converts mature oligodendrocytes to a novel phenotype.

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1
Department of Pharmacology, University of Connecticut Medical School, Farmington 06030-3205, USA. bansal@panda.uchc.edu

Abstract

Fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-2 differentially regulates oligodendrocyte progenitor proliferation and differentiation in culture, and modulates gene expression of its own receptors, in a developmental and receptor type-specific manner (Bansal et al., 1996a,b). Three FGF receptors (types 1, 2, 3) are expressed in postmitotic, terminally differentiating oligodendrocytes. Exposure of such cells to FGF-2 results in: (a) the down-regulation of myelin-specific gene expression (e.g., ceramide galactosyltransferase, 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphohydrolase, myelin basic protein, proteolipid protein), (b) dramatic increases in the length of cellular processes in a time- and dose-dependent manner, (c) re-entrance into the cell cycle without accompanying mitosis, and (d) the alteration of the expression of both low- and high-affinity FGF receptors. Compared to oligodendrocyte progenitors, the differentiated oligodendrocytes treated with FGF-2 incorporate BrdU at a slower rates, exhibit different patterns of both FGF high- and low-affinity (syndecans) receptors, and are morphologically very different. In addition, they do not re-express the progenitor markers A2B5, NG2 or PDGFalpha receptor. Therefore, although the FGF-treated cells lose their differentiated OL/myelin markers, they do not revert to progenitors and clearly represent a different, apparently novel, phenotype both morphologically and biochemically, which we have termed NOLs. These data indicate that terminally differentiated oligodendrocytes retain the plasticity to reprogram their differentiation fate under the influence of environmental factors. The possible significance of this response to FGF relative to normal and pathological physiology is discussed. In particular, on the basis of these data we predict the appearance of cells in and around multiple sclerosis plaques with the phenotype O4+, NG2-, A2B5-, O1-, MBP-.

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