Oligodendrocyte differentiation and progenitor cell proliferation are independently regulated by cyclic AMP

J Neurosci Res. 1993 Feb 15;34(3):287-94. doi: 10.1002/jnr.490340305.


Oligodendrocytes, the glial cells specialized to synthesize myelin in the central nervous system, differentiate in primary rat brain cell cultures on a schedule similar to that observed in vivo. The schedule of oligodendrocyte differentiation and the rate of oligodendroglial progenitor cell proliferation in vitro are both modulated by 3',5'-cyclic AMP (cAMP). A 24-hour exposure to 1 mM N6,2'O-dibutyryladenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (dbcAMP) induced a wave of oligodendrocyte differentiation but inhibited proliferation of oligodendroglial progenitors, and reduced by 30-fold the proliferation of progenitors in response to platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF). When cells were grown in the presence of maximally stimulating concentrations of PDGF, the inhibitory effect of cAMP on progenitor cell proliferation was abolished while the stimulatory effect of cAMP on oligodendrocyte differentiation remained, demonstrating that these two cAMP-regulated events are independent.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Autoradiography
  • Brain / cytology
  • Bucladesine / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Bucladesine / pharmacology
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Division / physiology
  • Cyclic AMP / physiology*
  • DNA / biosynthesis
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Oligodendroglia / drug effects
  • Oligodendroglia / physiology*
  • Oligodendroglia / ultrastructure
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Stem Cells / ultrastructure


  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Bucladesine
  • DNA
  • Cyclic AMP