Regulation of Differentiated Properties of Oligodendrocytes

  • Daniel P. Weingarten
  • Shalini Kumar
  • Joseph Bressler
  • Jean De Vellis
Part of the Advances in Neurochemistry book series (ANCH, volume 5)


How a given eukaryotic cell achieves its ultimate differentiated state from primitive embryonic origins and how the expression of specific gene products is regulated are two of the fundamental and, as yet, unresolved issues in biology. Despite extraordinary advances in our knowledge of primary nucleotide sequences and genomic organization, we cannot at present predict or explain the various patterns of gene expression from one cell type to another. Most research in this area has been confined to the study of highly specialized systems in which large amounts of a particular protein are made (Shapiro, 1982). In brain, the search for specific, identifiable proteins has largely concentrated on neuronal elements. However, in the past decade, glial physiology has gained a more prominent role in neurobiology. An appreciation of how certain genes are regulated in the oligodendrocyte has become increasingly important to our understanding of the role these proteins play in a number of normal and pathological processes in the CNS. Of particular interest is the myelin-forming function of the oligodendrocyte in health and disease. The genotypic and phenotypic alterations that occur during glial neoplasia can be interpreted with respect to changes in these differentiated oligodendrocyte properties. That oligodendrocytes are now recognized as capable of secreting soluble protein factors that influence the morphology and physiology of neuronal elements underscores an even greater need to know whether and how these factors are themselves subject to regulatory signals (Arenander and de Vellis, 1982). Finally, the temporal patterns of the expression of these proteins from embryonic development onward will aid in the tracing of oligodendrocyte-cell lineages.


Glial Cell Nerve Growth Factor Glutamine Synthetase Cyclic Nucleotide Dibutyryl cAMP 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel P. Weingarten
    • 1
  • Shalini Kumar
    • 2
  • Joseph Bressler
    • 3
  • Jean De Vellis
    • 2
  1. 1.Life Technologies IncorporatedChagrin FallsUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory of Biomedical and Environmental Sciences, Mental Retardation Research Center, and the Departments of Anatomy and PsychiatryUniversity of California, Los Angeles, School of MedicineLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Surgical Neurology BranchNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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