Expression and function of thrombospondin-1 in myelinating glial cells of the central nervous system

Suzanna Scott-Drew, Charles ffrench-Constant

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The thrombospondin (TSP) family of extracellular matrix glycoproteins are widely expressed in the developing and adult central nervous system although their function remains poorly defined. We have used cell culture techniques to analyse the expression and function of TSPs in glial cells derived from myelinated regions of the central nervous system. These experiments show that TSP-1 mRNA, but not TSP-2 or TSP-3 mRNA, is expressed by astrocytes from these regions. TSP-1 mRNA levels in astrocytes are under the regulation of growth factors, being increased by TGFβ1 and decreased by bFGF. Oligodendrocyte precursors do not express TSP-1, TSP-2, or TSP-3 mRNA. Migration of oligodendrocyte precursor cells is stimulated by TSP-1 substrates as measured either by time-lapse microscopy or using a microchemotaxis chamber assay. Taken together, these results suggest that the extracellular matrix molecule TSP-1 plays a role in normal central nervous system development by contributing to the regulation of oligodendrocyte precursor migration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)202-214
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 1997


  • Astrocyte
  • Central nervous system
  • CG-4 cell line
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Fibroblast growth factor
  • Migration
  • Oligodendrocyte
  • Platelet derived growth factor
  • Transforming growth factor beta

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