Oligodendrocyte form myelin around the axons to regulate the conduction velocity. Myelinated axons are composed of white matter to act as cables to connect distinct brain regions. Recent human MRI studies showed that the signal from white matter change in the people with special skills such as taxi driver, piano player, and juggling. The change of the white matter suggested that (1) The plasticity of myelination depends on neuronal activity (activity-dependent myelination) and (2) White matter plasticity is essential for brain functions. In this session, we discussed that how the un-electrical components, oligodendrocytes, and its precursor cells receive the signal from electrically active neurons and differentiate, proliferate, and myelinate the axons to modulate the activity of neuronal circuits, ultimately affect on their behaviors. In this review, we highlight the physiological functions of oligodendrocyte and their neuronal activity-dependent functions and thus show new insight for their contribution to brain functions.
KeywordsGlial cells Oligodendrocytes Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells Myelination
Axonal initial segment
Alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor
Central nervous system
Dorsal root ganglion
Functional magnetic resonance imaging
Gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor
Green fluorescent protein
Myelin basic protein
Metabotropic glutamate receptor
Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells
Alpha receptor for platelet-derived growth factor
This work was supported by the Japan Science and Technology Agency for Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (to H.W.), the Japan Science and Technology Agency for Precursory Research for Embryonic Science and Technology (to H.W.), Grant-in-Aids for Scientific Research on Scientific Research on Innovative Areas 15H01300 (to H.W.) and 25110732 (to H.W.), and Grant-in-Aids for Young Scientists (A) 26710004 (to H.W.) from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
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