Zonouzi M, Berger D, Jokhi V, Kedaigle A, Lichtman J, Arlotta P. 2019. Individual Oligodendrocytes Show Bias for Inhibitory Axons in the Neocortex. Cell reports. 27(10):2799-2808.e3. Pubmed: 31167127 DOI:S2211-1247(19)30629-1


Reciprocal communication between neurons and oligodendrocytes is essential for the generation and localization of myelin, a critical feature of the CNS. In the neocortex, individual oligodendrocytes can myelinate multiple axons; however, the neuronal origin of the myelinated axons has remained undefined and, while largely assumed to be from excitatory pyramidal neurons, it also includes inhibitory interneurons. This raises the question of whether individual oligodendrocytes display bias for the class of neurons that they myelinate. Here, we find that different classes of cortical interneurons show distinct patterns of myelin distribution starting from the onset of myelination, suggesting that oligodendrocytes can recognize the class identity of individual types of interneurons that they target. Notably, we show that some oligodendrocytes disproportionately myelinate the axons of inhibitory interneurons, whereas others primarily target excitatory axons or show no bias. These results point toward very specific interactions between oligodendrocytes and neurons and raise the interesting question of why myelination is differentially directed toward different neuron types.
Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Dr. Arlotta is interested in understanding the molecular laws that govern the birth, differentiation and assembly of the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that controls how we sense, move and think. She integrates developmental and evolutionary knowledge to investigate therapies for brain repair and for modeling neuropsychiatric disease.

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