Remyelination is the regenerative response to demyelination. Although the oligodendrocyte progenitor is established as the major source of remyelinating cells, there is no conclusive evidence on whether mature, differentiated oligodendrocytes can also contribute to remyelination. Using two different inducible myelin-CreER mouse strains in which mature oligodendrocytes were prelabeled by the expression of membrane-bound Green fluorescent protein, we found that after focal spinal cord demyelination, the surrounding surviving labeled oligodendrocytes did not proliferate but remained at a consistent density. Furthermore, existing (prelabeled) oligodendrocytes showed no evidence of incorporation or migration into the lesioned area, or of process extension from the peripheral margins into the lesion. Thus, mature oligodendrocytes do not normally contribute to remyelination and are therefore not a promising target for regenerative therapy.
Crawford AH, Tripathi RB, Foerster S, McKenzie I, Kougioumtzidou E, Grist M, Richardson WD, Franklin RJ.Pre-Existing Mature Oligodendrocytes Do Not Contribute to Remyelination following Toxin-Induced Spinal Cord Demyelination. Am J Pathol. 2016 pii: S0002-9440(15)00658-6. doi: 10.1016/j.ajpath.2015.11.005. [Epub ahead of print]