The Stem Cell Factor Sox2 Is a Positive Timer of Oligodendrocyte Development in the Postnatal Murine Spinal Cord


Myelination in the central nervous system takes place predominantly during the postnatal development of humans and rodents by myelinating oligodendrocytes (OLs), which are differentiated from oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs). We recently reported that Sox2 is essential for developmental myelination in the murine brain and spinal cord. It is still controversial regarding the role of Sox2 in oligodendroglial lineage progression in the postnatal murine spinal cord. Analyses of a series of cell- and stage-specific Sox2 mutants reveal that Sox2 plays a biphasic role in regulating oligodendroglial lineage progression in the postnatal murine spinal cord. Sox2 controls the number of OPCs for subsequent differentiation through regulating their proliferation. In addition, Sox2 regulates the timing of OL differentiation and modulates the rate of oligodendrogenesis. Our experimental data prove that Sox2 is an intrinsic positive timer of oligodendroglial lineage progression and suggest that interventions affecting oligodendroglial Sox2 expression may be therapeutic for overcoming OPC differentiation arrest in dysmyelinating and demyelinating disorders.

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Grant support was from Shriners Hospitals for Children (F.G., S.Z.), 2016YFC0503200 (X. Z.), and NIH (R01NS094559, R21NS093559 to F.G.).

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Correspondence to Fuzheng Guo.

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Zhang, S., Rasai, A., Wang, Y. et al. The Stem Cell Factor Sox2 Is a Positive Timer of Oligodendrocyte Development in the Postnatal Murine Spinal Cord. Mol Neurobiol 55, 9001–9015 (2018).

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  • Sox2
  • Myelination
  • Oligodendrocyte differentiation
  • Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs)
  • Proliferation
  • Neural stem cells