Tapping into the glial reservoir: cells committed to remaining uncommitted
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.200905111
The development and maturation of the oligodendrocyte requires a series of highly orchestrated events that coordinate the proliferation and differentiation of the oligodendrocyte precursor cell (OPC) as well as the spatiotemporal regulation of myelination. In recent years, widespread interest has been devoted to the therapeutic potential of adult OPCs scattered throughout the central nervous system (CNS). In this review, we highlight molecular mechanisms controlling OPC differentiation during development and the implication of these mechanisms on adult OPCs for remyelination. Cell-autonomous regulators of differentiation and the heterogeneous microenvironment of the developing and the adult CNS may provide coordinated inhibitory cues that ultimately maintain a reservoir of uncommitted glia.