Oligodendrocytes (OGs) assemble the myelin sheath around axons in the central nervous system. Specification of cells into the OG lineage is largely the result of interplay between bone morphogenetic protein, sonic hedgehog and Notch signaling pathways, which regulate expression of transcription factors (TFs) dictating spatial and temporal aspects of oligodendrogenesis. Many of these TFs and others then direct OG development through to a mature myelinating OG. Here we describe signaling pathways and TFs that are inductive, inhibitory, and/or permissive to OG specification and maturation. We develop a basic transcriptional network and identify similarities and differences between regulation of oligodendrogenesis in the spinal cord and brain. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.