In the adult brain NG2-glia continuously generate mature, myelinating oligodendrocytes. To which extent the differentiation process is common to all NG2-glia and whether distinct pools are recruited for repair under physiological and pathological conditions still needs clarification. Here, we aimed at investigating the differentiation potential of adult NG2-glia that specifically express the G-protein coupled receptor 17 (GPR17), a membrane receptor that regulates the differentiation of these cells at postnatal stages. To this aim, we generated the first BAC transgenic GPR17-iCreERT2 mouse line for fate mapping studies. In these mice, under physiological conditions, GPR17+ cells -in contrast to GPR17- NG2-glia- did not differentiate within 3 months, a peculiarity that was overcome after cerebral damage induced by acute injury or ischemia. After these insults, GPR17+ NG2-glia rapidly reacted to the damage and underwent maturation, suggesting that they represent a 'reserve pool' of adult progenitors maintained for repair purposes.
- Oligodendrocyte progenitors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience