UNIT 3.4 Isolation and Purification of Primary Oligodendrocyte Precursors

  1. Oliver Bögler

Published Online: 1 MAY 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0471142301.ns0304s00

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

How to Cite

Bögler, O. 2001. Isolation and Purification of Primary Oligodendrocyte Precursors. Current Protocols in Neuroscience. 00:3.4:3.4.1–3.4.9.

Author Information

  1. Medical College of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2001
  2. Published Print: SEP 1997


Oligodendrocytes are the myelinating cells of the central nervous system, and are avidly studied by investigators interested in neural cell lineages, myelination, multiple sclerosis, and oligodendroglioma. This unit presents a strategy for manipulating the division and differentiation of oligodendrocyte progenitors by isolating O-2A progenitors from optic nerve and then purifying and expanding them by culture in a defined medium supplemented with platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) plus basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). Cells are then allowed to differentiate through removal of the growth factors. A protocol is also provided for monitoring the cell type composition of the cultures by immunohistochemistry. In addition to making it possible to generate large numbers of cells, this approach allows access to intermediate differentiation stages. Cells can thus be studied as they differentiate into oligodendrocytes, making the actual process of differentiation open to examination.