Identifying a source of cells with the capacity to generate oligodendrocytes in the adult CNS would help in the development of strategies to promote remyelination. In the present study, we examined the ability of the precursor cells of the adult mouse subventricular zone (SVZ) to differentiate into remyelinating oligodendrocytes. After lysolecithin-induced demyelination of the corpus callosum, progenitors of the rostral SVZ (SVZa) and the rostral migratory pathway (RMS), expressing the embryonic polysialylated form of the neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM), increased progressively with a maximal expansion occurring after 2 weeks. This observation correlated with an increase in the proliferation activity of the neural progenitors located in the SVZa and RMS. Moreover, polysialic acid (PSA)-NCAM-immunoreactive cells arizing from the SVZa were detected in the lesioned corpus callosum and within the lesion. Tracing of the constitutively cycling cells of the adult SVZ and RMS with 3H-thymidine labelling showed their migration toward the lesion and their differentiation into oligodendrocytes and astrocytes but not neurons. These data indicate that, in addition to the resident population of quiescent oligodendrocyte progenitors of the adult CNS, neural precursors from the adult SVZ constitute a source of oligodendrocytes for myelin repair.