Role of the Oligodendroglial Cytoskeleton in Differentiation and Myelination

Nina G. Bauer, Christiane Richter-Landsberg, Charles Ffrench-Constant

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

Abstract

Oligodendrocytes, the myelin-forming cells of the central nervous system, are in culture characterized by an elaborate process network, terminating in flat membranous sheets that are rich in myelin-specific proteins and lipids, and spirally wrap axons forming a compact insulating layer in vivo. By analogy with other cell types, maintenance and stability of these processes, as well as the formation of the myelin sheath, likely rely on a pronounced cytoskeleton consisting of microtubules and microfilaments. While the specialized process of wrapping and compaction forming the myelin sheath is not well understood, considerably more is known about how cytoskeletal organization is mediated by extracellular and intracellular signals and other interaction partners during oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination. Here, we review the current state of knowledge on the role of the oligodendrocyte cytoskeleton in differentiation with an emphasis on signal transduction mechanisms and will attempt to draw out implications for its significance in myelination. (C) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1691-1705
Number of pages15
JournalGlia
Volume57
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009

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