Fine-tuning oligodendrocyte development by micrornas

Olga Barca-Mayo, Q. Richard Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Myelination of axons by oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system is essential for normal neuronal functions. The failure of remyelination due to injury or pathological insults results in devastating demyelinating diseases. Oligodendrocytes originate in restricted regions of the embryonic ventral neural tube. After migration to populate all areas of the brain and spinal cord, oligodendrocyte precursors undergo a temporally well-defined series of molecular and structural changes, ultimately culminating in the cessation of proliferation, and the elaboration of a highly complex myelin sheath. The emergence of microRNAs (miRNAs) as potent regulators of gene expression at the posttranscriptional level has broad implications in all facets of cell biology. Recent studies have demonstrated a critical role of miRNAs in oligodendrocyte development, including cell proliferation, differentiation, and myelin formation. In this review, we will highlight and discuss the recent understanding of functional links of miRNAs to regulatory networks for central myelination, as well as perspectives on the role of miRNAs in demyelinating diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberArticle 13
JournalFrontiers in Neuroscience
Issue numberFEB
StatePublished - 2012


  • Feed-back regulation
  • MiRNAs
  • Myelination
  • Neural cell fate
  • Oligodendrocyte
  • Transcriptional control

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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