Myelin is a multilayer lipid membrane structure that wraps and insulates axons, allowing for the efficient propagation of action potentials. During developmental myelination of the central nervous system (CNS), oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) proliferate and migrate to their final destination, where they terminally differentiate into mature oligodendrocytes and myelinate axons. Lineage progression and terminal differentiation of oligodendrocyte lineage cells are under tight transcriptional and post-transcriptional control. The characterization of several recently identified regulatory factors that govern these processes, which are the focus of this review, has greatly increased our understanding of oligodendrocyte development and function. These insights are critical to facilitate efforts to enhance OPC differentiation in neurological disorders that disrupt CNS myelin.
- oligodendrocyte lineage progression
- transcription factors
ASJC Scopus subject areas