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NG2+ CNS glial progenitors remain committed to the oligodendrocyte lineage in postnatal life and following neurodegeneration.


The mammalian CNS contains a ubiquitous population of glial progenitors known as NG2+ cells that have the ability to develop into oligodendrocytes and undergo dramatic changes in response to injury and demyelination. Although it has been reported that NG2+ cells are multipotent, their fate in health and disease remains controversial. Here, we generated PDGFαR-CreER transgenic mice and followed their fate in vivo in the developing and adult CNS. These studies revealed that NG2+ cells in the postnatal CNS generate myelinating oligodendrocytes, but not astrocytes or neurons. In regions of neurodegeneration in the spinal cord of ALS mice, NG2+ cells exhibited enhanced proliferation and accelerated differentiation into oligodendrocytes but remained committed to the oligodendrocyte lineage. These results indicate that NG2+ cells in the normal CNS are oligodendrocyte precursors with restricted lineage potential and that cell loss and gliosis are not sufficient to alter the lineage potential of these progenitors.

Pubmed ID: 21092857


  • Kang SH
  • Fukaya M
  • Yang JK
  • Rothstein JD
  • Bergles DE



Publication Data

November 18, 2010

Associated Grants

  • Agency: NIMH NIH HHS, Id: MH084020
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: NS050274
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: NS051509
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: P30 NS050274
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: P30 NS050274-05
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: P30 NS050274-059003
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: P30 NS050274-05S1
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: R01 NS051509
  • Agency: NINDS NIH HHS, Id: R01 NS051509-05

Mesh Terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Lineage
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Nerve Degeneration
  • Neurogenesis
  • Neuroglia
  • Oligodendroglia
  • Random Allocation
  • Receptor, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor alpha
  • Spinal Cord
  • Stem Cells