Pure Pedantry

If you have never been to Neuroscience, one of the things they do is have slide sessions. These sessions are sort of like short talks — a slide of data or two presented by many people. It is sort of a good summary of what people are working on.

Considering that I work in a lab that studies oligodendrocyte development, the one of these I chose to attend was the Neurogenesis/Gliogenesis.

The big highlight for me was Bruce Appel from Vanderbilt. He found a way using GFP and time lapse photography to watch oligodendrocyte myelination in zebrafish. Showed some absolutely crazy videos that I am going to try really hard to get on the web. You can actually watch the oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) migrate from the floor plate and myelinate axons.

What you find if you watch these videos closely the oligodendrocytes do not move in straight lines — which is not would you predict if they were simply moving in the direction of a single soluble molecule. Further, he argued that changes in migratory behaviors are mediated by process extension from the cell body, and that the purpose of this is to guarantee that the oligodendrocytes are equally distributed along the axons. They would also laser ablate OPCs in a region, and then watch the cells repopulate. It appears that OPC processes are used to sense the environment, feel out neighboring cells, and then distribute themselves along the axons.

I will see if I can get the videos.


  1. #1 Bui Chi Bao
    October 20, 2006

    Do you get that crazy video yet? Should you please share it to me. I am also interesting in this development of Nervous system!
    Thank you in advance!
    My email: bcbaodk@yahoo.com

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