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1.  Differential roles of astrocyte and microglia in supporting oligodendrocyte development and myelination in vitro 
Brain and Behavior  2013;3(5):503-514.
Oligodendrocyte (OL) development relies on many extracellular cues, most of which are secreted cytokines from neighboring neural cells. Although it is generally accepted that both astrocytes and microglia are beneficial for OL development, there is a lack of understanding regarding whether astrocytes and microglia play similar or distinct roles. The current study examined the effects of astrocytes and microglia on OL developmental phenotypes including cell survival, proliferation, differentiation, and myelination in vitro. Our data reveal that, although both astrocytes- and microglia-conditioned medium (ACDM and MCDM, respectively) protect OL progenitor cells (OPCs) against growth factor withdrawal-induced apoptosis, ACDM is significantly more effective than MCDM in supporting long-term OL survival. In contrast, MCDM preferentially promotes OL differentiation and myelination. These differential effects of ACDM and MCDM on OL development are highlighted by distinct pattern of cytokine/growth factors in the conditioned medium, which correlates with differentially activated intracellular signaling pathways in OPCs upon exposure to the conditioned medium.
PMCID: PMC3869978  PMID: 24392271
Cytokine; differentiation; glia; in vitro; proliferation
2.  Neuron-oligodendrocyte myelination co-culture derived from embryonic rat spinal cord and cerebral cortex 
Brain and Behavior  2012;2(1):53-67.
An in vitro myelination model derived from rat central nervous system (CNS) remains to be established. Here, we describe a simple and reproducible myelination culture method using dissociated neuron-oligodendrocyte (OL) co-cultures from either the embryonic day 16 (E16) rat spinal cord or cerebral cortex. The dissociated cells are plated directly on poly-L-lysine-coated cover slips and maintained in a modified myelination medium that supports both OL and neuron differentiation. The spinal cord derived OL progenitor cells develop quickly into myelin basic protein (MBP)+ mature OLs and start to myelinate axons around 17 days in vitro (DIV17). Myelination reaches its peak around six weeks (DIV40) and the typical nodes of Ranvier are revealed by paranodal proteins Caspr and juxaparanodal protein Kv1.2 immunoreactivity. Electron microscopy (EM) shows typical myelination cytoarchitecture and synaptic organization. In contrast, the cortical-derived co-culture requires triiodothyronine (T3) in the culture medium for myelination. Finally, either hypomyelination and/or demyelination can be induced by exposing proinflammatory cytokines or demyelinating agents to the co-culture, suggesting the feasibility of this modified in vitro myelination model for myelin-deficit investigation.
PMCID: PMC3343299  PMID: 22574274
CNS; myelination; neuron; oligodendrocyte; rat

Results 1-2 (2)