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Oligodendrocytes are neuroglial cells whose function is to support and myelinate axons in the CNS. Oligodendrocytes have been found to arise from oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) during late embryogenesis and early post natal development. A single oligodendrocyte can myelinate as many as 40 or more different axons, wrapping the axon with between 20 and 200 layers of highly modified membrane processes1. The differentiation of OPCs into myelin-synthesizing oligodendrocytes is not well understood, and research suggests that cues for differentiation involve mechanical and chemical signaling from astrocytes and neurons. Many proteins are known to be involved in the migration, proliferation, survival, and differentiation of oligodendrocyte precursors, but their specific roles are not well defined or understood. A better understanding of the mechanism through which these proteins affect the differentiation of OPCs will allow us to more effectively differentiate OPCs to oligodendrocytes, allowing us to better assess the potential for using OPCs as a neurological therapy. The cells used in this study are CG4s, a bipotential glial cell line capable of differentiating into oligodendrocytes2. Various peptide materials are being used to enhance differentiation of CG4 OPCs into mature oligodendrocytes with myelinating capabilities as well as to support mature oligodendrocytes in culture for further study.
Scott, Carolyn, "Directed Differentiation of Oligodendrocyte Precursor Cells Using Rationally Designed Solid State Peptide Materials" (2010). David and Lorraine Freed Undergraduate Research Symposium Winning Posters. 21.