Zuo Zhang, Hongli Zhou and Jiyin Zhou* Pages 1 - 22 ( 22 )
NG2-glia, also called oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs), account for approximately 5%-10% of the cells in the developing and adult brain and constitute the fifth major cell population in the central nervous system. NG2-glia express receptors and ion channels involved in rapid modulation of neuronal activities and signaling with neuronal synapses, which have functional significance in both physiological and pathological states. NG2-glia participate in quick signaling with peripheral neurons via direct synaptic touches in the developing and mature central nervous system. These distinctive glia perform the unique function of proliferating and differentiating into oligodendrocytes in the early developing brain, which is critical for axon myelin formation. In response to injury, NG2-glia can proliferate, migrate to the lesions, and differentiate into oligodendrocytes to form new myelin sheaths, which wrap around damaged axons and result in functional recovery. The capacity of NG2-glia to regulate their behavior and dynamics in response to neuronal activity and disease indicate their critical role in myelin preservation and remodeling in the physiological state and in repair in the pathological state. In this review, we provide a detailed summary of the characteristics of NG2-glia, including their heterogeneity, the regulators of their proliferation, and the modulators of their differentiation into oligodendrocytes.
NG2-glia, oligodendrocyte precursor cells, heterogeneity, differentiation, oligodendrocyte
National Drug Clinical Trial Institution, the Second Affiliated Hospital, Army Medical University, Chongqing 400037, National Drug Clinical Trial Institution, the Second Affiliated Hospital, Army Medical University, Chongqing 400037, National Drug Clinical Trial Institution, the Second Affiliated Hospital, Army Medical University, Chongqing 400037