Evidence that migratory oligodendrocyte-type-2 astrocyte (O-2A) progenitor cells are kept out of the rat retina by a barrier at the eye-end of the optic nerve

Charles Ffrench-Constant, Robert H. Miller, Julia F. Burne, Martin C. Raff

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There is evidence that oligodendrocyte-type-2 astrocyte (O-2A) progenitor cells migrate along the developing rat optic nerve from the chiasm toward the eye before differentiating into oligodendrocytes that myelinate the retinal ganglion cell axons in the nerve. Why, then, do these progenitor cells not migrate into the eye, differentiate into oligodendrocytes and myelinate the nerve fibre layer of the retina? Myelination would opacify the neural retina and thereby severely impair vision. Here we provide evidence that there is a barrier at the eye-end of the rat optic nerve that prevents the migration of O-2A progenitor cells into the retina. Our findings in the rat support a previous hypothesis that such a barrier keeps myelin-forming glial cells out of the human retina.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-25
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neurocytology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1988

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