Immortalization of Oligodendrocyte Precursors from the Optic Nerve of the Rat with a Temperature-Sensitive form of the SV40 T Antigen Using a Retrovirus Vector

  • Guillermina Almazan
Conference paper
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 43)


Considerable amount of information regarding the cell of origin and the mode of differentiation of oligodendroglial cells has been derived from studies using primary culture. In the optic nerve of the rat, oligodendrocytes differentiate from a bipotential progenitor cell, the O2A precursor, which also gives rise to type 2 astrocyte. The O2A lineage is characterized by the expression on its plasma membrane of gangliosides recognized by a monoclonal antibody A2B5 (Raff et al. 1983). The differentiation step from the progenitor to the astroglial or oligodendroglial lineage can be influenced by growth factors present in the medium. Thus, in the presence of fetal calf serum most cells differentiate into type 2 astrocyte expressing glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), whereas in serum-free medium they will develop into oligodendrocytes expressing galactocerebroside (GC, Hughes &Raff 1987). PDGF and CNTF (ciliary neurotrophic factor) are implicated as growth factor signals from type 1 astrocytes which influence the proliferation and differentiation of O2A progenitors (Richardson et aI. 1988; Noble et al. 1988, Lillien et al., 1988). An oligodendrocyte progenitor cell with characteristics similar to the O2A optic lineage has also been obtained from cerebellum (Levi et al. 1986) and cerebral hemispheres (Behar et al. 1988) in rats. These two regions of the central nervous system are the primary source for the study of glial differentiation in tissue culture.


Optic Nerve Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein Myelin Basic Protein Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cell Oligodendrocyte Development 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guillermina Almazan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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