A role for platelet-derived growth factor in normal gliogenesis in the central nervous system

Cell. 1988 Apr 22;53(2):309-19. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(88)90392-3.


The bipotential progenitor cells (O-2A progenitors) that produce oligodendrocytes and type-2 astrocytes in the developing rat optic nerve are induced to proliferate in culture by type-1 astrocytes. Here, we show that the astrocyte-derived mitogen is platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). PDGF is a potent mitogen for O-2A progenitor cells in vitro. Mitogenic activity in astrocyte-conditioned medium comigrates with PDGF on a size-exclusion column, competes with PDGF for receptors, and is neutralized by antibodies to PDGF. PDGF dimers can be immunoprecipitated from astrocyte-conditioned medium, and mRNA encoding PDGF is present in rat brain throughout gliogenesis. We propose that astrocyte-derived PDGF is crucial for the control of myelination in the developing central nervous system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies
  • Astrocytes / cytology*
  • Astrocytes / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Cerebral Cortex / cytology*
  • DNA Replication
  • Glioma
  • Humans
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Neuroglia / cytology*
  • Optic Nerve / cytology*
  • Optic Nerve / drug effects
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / genetics
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / pharmacology
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Receptors, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Skin / metabolism


  • Antibodies
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, Platelet-Derived Growth Factor