Neuroscience

Age-related glial cell heterogeneity

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  01 Mar 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6430, pp. 942-943
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6430.942-e

Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells are widely distributed throughout the adult brain and are the main proliferative cell. As they mature into oligodendrocytes, they produce myelin; however, their composition and function in the adult brain are unclear and controversial. Using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings, Spitzer et al. looked at how the functional properties of oligodendrocytes change with developmental milestones and brain location. Early in life, oligodendrocyte progenitor cells form a homogeneous population, but during development, they acquire several different ion channels and become functionally heterogeneous. The resulting differences in electrophysiological properties underlie functional differentiation into activities such as motor learning and myelin maintenance.

Neuron 101, 459 (2019).

Navigate This Article