ENP doctoral student Paloma Maldonado recently advanced our understanding of oligodendrocyte precursor cells in grey matter. She revealed that these cells detect slight changes in extracellular potassium levels resulting from neuronal activation. This finding suggests that oligodendrocyte precursor cells in the adult have an alternative function to serving as progenitors. Check out the article for more details:
Maldonado PP, Vélez-Fort M, Levavasseur F, Angulo MC. Oligodendrocyte precursor cells are accurate sensors of local K+ in mature gray matter. J Neurosci. 6 Feb 2013. 33(6): 2432-42.
Figure 4 A and B from Maldonado et al., J Neurosci., 2013. (A) Depiction of patch-clamp recording from OPCs in the barrel cortex layer V fibers. (B) Image of a NG2+/DsRed+ OPC.
Oligodendrocyte precursor cells expressing the chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan NG2, also called NG2 cells, have the ability to proliferate in the postnatal brain to generate oligodendrocytes in grey...