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Front. Cell. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fncel.2018.00399

How do cells of the oligodendrocyte lineage affect neuronal circuits to influence motor function, memory and mood?

 Renee Pepper1,  Carlie L. Cullen1, Kimberley A. Pitman1 and  Kaylene M. Young1*
  • 1Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania, Australia

Oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) are immature cells in the central nervous system (CNS) that can rapidly respond to changes within their environment by modulating their proliferation, motility and differentiation. OPCs differentiate into myelinating oligodendrocytes throughout life, and both cell types have been implicated in maintaining and modulating neuronal function to affect motor performance, cognition and emotional state. However, questions remain about the mechanisms employed by OPCs and oligodendrocytes to regulate circuit function, including whether OPCs can only influence circuits through their generation of new oligodendrocytes, or can play other regulatory roles within the CNS. In this review, we detail the molecular and cellular mechanisms that allow OPCs, newborn oligodendrocytes and pre-existing oligodendrocytes to regulate circuit function and ultimately influence behavioural outcomes.

Keywords: oligodendrocyte, myelin, oligodendrogenesis, Oligodendrocyte progenitor cell (OPC), Cognition, Anxiety, Depression, motor performance

Received: 30 Jul 2018; Accepted: 17 Oct 2018.

Edited by:

Philippe Isope, Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS), France

Reviewed by:

Fernando De Castro, Instituto Cajal (IC), Spain
Herbert Hildebrandt, Hannover Medical School, Germany  

Copyright: © 2018 Pepper, Cullen, Pitman and Young. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Kaylene M. Young, Menzies Institute for Medical Research, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia, kaylene.young@utas.edu.au