Diversity of oligodendrocytes and their progenitors

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2017 Dec;47:73-79. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2017.09.015. Epub 2017 Oct 24.


The established function of oligodendrocytes and their progenitors is to drive the cellular events of myelination, a highly diversified process necessary to match the needs of various neuronal subtypes and networks. The morphological and molecular heterogeneity of oligodendrocytes and their progenitors point to functions beyond establishing saltatory nerve conduction. Here, we review the diversity in the oligodendroglial lineage as well as the classical and new functions identified for oligodendrocytes and their progenitors. Because oligodendroglia remain highly responsive to environmental changes, they likely contribute to various neurological and psychiatric diseases.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology*
  • Brain / physiology
  • Cell Lineage
  • Humans
  • Neural Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Neural Stem Cells / physiology
  • Oligodendroglia / cytology*
  • Oligodendroglia / physiology