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Mechanical plasticity during oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination


In the central nervous system, oligodendrocyte precursor cells are exclusive in their potential to differentiate into myelinating oligodendrocytes. Oligodendrocyte precursor cells migrate within the parenchyma and extend cell membrane protrusions that ultimately evolve into myelinating sheaths able to wrap neuronal axons and significantly increase their electrical conductivity. The subcellular force generating mechanisms driving morphological and functional transformations during oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination remain elusive. In this review, we highlight the mechanical processes governing oligodendrocyte plasticity in a dynamic interaction with the extracellular matrix.

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