Strategies for repair of white matter: influence of osmolarity and microglia on proliferation and apoptosis of oligodendrocyte precursor cells in different basal culture media
Cell fate commitment in the developing CNS frequently depends on localized cell-cell interactions. In the avian visual system the optic nerve oligodendrocytes are derived from founder cells located at the floor of the third ventricle. Here we show that the induction of these founder cells is directly dependent on signaling from the retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axons. The appearance of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) correlates with the projection of RGC axons, and early eye removal dramatically reduces the number of OPCs. In vitro signaling from retinal neurites induces OPCs in responsive tissue. Retinal axon induction of OPCs is dependent on sonic hedgehog (Shh) and neuregulin signaling, and the inhibition of either signal reduces OPC induction in vivo and in vitro. The dependence of OPCs on retinal axonal cues appears to be a common phenomenon, because ocular retardation (or(J)) mice lacking optic nerve have dramatically reduced OPCs in the midline of the third ventricle.