NG2 + cells of rat spinal cord activated during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis are spatially associated with radially oriented astroglia and express p75 receptor : a role for nerve growth factor in oligodendrocyte progenitor migration?

Barbara Oderfeld-Nowak, Małgorzata Zaremba, Barbara Kwiatkowska-Patzer, Andrzej Lipkowski, Iwona Kurkowska-Jastrzębska, Viviana Triaca, Luigi Aloe


Data have been provided from several studies that support the proposal that the adult oligodendrocyte progenitors migrate into the lesioned areas under conditions of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). However, the routes of migration of these cells and the governing mechanisms are not clear. In the present studies, we have examined the effect of EAE upon activation of endogenous oligodendroglia progenitors and their spatial distribution in the spinal cord of Lewis rats using immunocytochemical procedures. Antibodies against the marker chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan NG2, are used for identification of oligodendroglia progenitors. We find that the activated elongated subpopulation of NG2 positive oligodendroglia progenitors of white matter is spatially associated with the radially- oriented astroglia during the acute phase of EAE. The latter re-expressed the phenotypic embryonic marker nestin while still expressing the mature astroglial marker GFAP. The elongated oligodendroglia progenitors proliferate and express p75 receptor. In addition, colocalization of NG2 and p75 is observed also in ependymal neural cells of the central canal and the subventricular zone. This raises the possibility that the activated NG2+/p75+ parenchymal cell pool may also be recruited from multipotent neural cells of the germination areas. Our data suggest that, under EAE conditions, the mature radial astroglia may serve as scaffolding for migrating activated endogenous oligodendroglia progenitors just like radial glia provide a path for neuronal and oligodendroglia progenitor cells in embryonic stage. The expression of p75 receptor in oligodendroglia progenitors associated with radial astroglia may implicate a role for NGF in the regulation of migration of oligodendroglia progenitors.


Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis; spinal cord; oligodendroglia progenitors; radial astroglia; migration; p75 receptor

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