ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-160618-20
Oligodendrocyte differentiation
Mathews, E.S., Appel, B.
Date: 2016
Source: Methods in cell biology   134: 69-96 (Chapter)
Registered Authors: Appel, Bruce
Keywords: Glia, Myelin, Neural development, OPC, Oligodendrocyte, Zebrafish
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Axons/metabolism
  • Cell Communication/genetics
  • Cell Differentiation/genetics*
  • Cytogenetic Analysis/methods*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Myelin Sheath/metabolism
  • Neurogenesis/genetics*
  • Oligodendroglia/cytology*
  • Zebrafish/genetics
  • Zebrafish/growth & development
PubMed: 27312491 Full text @ Meth. Cell. Biol.
In the nervous system, axons transmit information in the form of electrical impulses over long distances. The speed of impulse conduction is enhanced by myelin, a lipid-rich membrane that wraps around axons. Myelin also is required for the long-term health of axons by providing metabolic support. Accordingly, myelin deficiencies are implicated in a wide range of neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders, intellectual disabilities, and neurodegenerative conditions. Central nervous system myelin is formed by glial cells called oligodendrocytes. During development, oligodendrocyte precursor cells migrate from their origins to their target axons, extend long membrane processes that wrap axons, and produce the proteins and lipids that provide myelin membrane with its unique characteristics. Myelination is a dynamic process that involves intricate interactions between multiple cell types. Therefore, an in vivo myelination model, such as the zebrafish, which allows for live observation of cell dynamics and cell-to-cell interactions, is well suited for investigating oligodendrocyte development. Zebrafish offer several advantages to investigating myelination, including the use of transgenic reporter lines, live imaging, forward genetic screens, chemical screens, and reverse genetic approaches. This chapter will describe how these tools and approaches have provided new insights into the regulatory mechanisms that guide myelination.