Functional duality of astrocytes in myelination

Nash, B., Thomson, C.E., Linington, C. , Arthur, A.T., McClure, J.D. , McBride, M.W. and Barnett, S.C. (2011) Functional duality of astrocytes in myelination. Journal of Neuroscience, 31(37), pp. 13028-13038. (doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1449-11.2011)

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Astrocytes undergo major phenotypic changes in response to injury and disease that directly influence repair in the CNS, but the mechanisms involved are poorly understood. Previously, we have shown that neurosphere-derived rat astrocytes plated on poly-L-lysine (PLL-astrocytes) support myelination in dissociated rat spinal cord cultures (myelinating cultures). It is hypothesized that astrocyte reactivity can affect myelination, so we have exploited this culture system to ascertain how two distinct astrocyte phenotypes influence myelination. Astrocytes plated on tenascin C (TnC-astrocytes), a method to induce quiescence, resulted in less myelinated fibers in the myelinating cultures when compared with PLL-astrocytes. In contrast, treatment of myelinating cultures plated on PLL-astrocytes with ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), a cytokine known to induce an activated astrocyte phenotype, promoted myelination. CNTF could also reverse the effect of quiescent astrocytes on myelination. A combination of microarray gene expression analysis and quantitative real-time PCR identified CXCL10 as a potential candidate for the reduction in myelination in cultures on TnC-astrocytes. The effect of TnC-astrocytes on myelination was eliminated by neutralizing CXCL10 antibodies. Conversely, CXCL10 protein inhibited myelination on PLL-astrocytes. Furthermore, CXCL10 treatment of purified oligodendrocyte precursor cells did not affect proliferation, differentiation, or process extension compared with untreated controls, suggesting a role in glial/axonal ensheathment. These data demonstrate a direct correlation of astrocyte phenotypes with their ability to support myelination. This observation has important implications with respect to the development of therapeutic strategies to promote CNS remyelination in demyelinating diseases.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McBride, Dr Martin and Arthur, Dr Ariel and Barnett, Professor Susan and Linington, Professor Christopher and McClure, Dr John
Authors: Nash, B., Thomson, C.E., Linington, C., Arthur, A.T., McClure, J.D., McBride, M.W., and Barnett, S.C.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:Journal of Neuroscience
Publisher:Society for Neuroscience
ISSN (Online):1529-2401

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