Epigenetic control of oligodendrocyte development: Adding new players to old keepers

Jia Liu, Sarah Moyon, Marylens Hernandez, Patrizia Casaccia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Emerging and strengthening evidence suggests an important role of myelin in plasticity and axonal survival. However, the mechanisms regulating progression from oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) to myelinating oligodendrocytes remain only partially understood. A series of overlapping yet distinct epigenetic events occur as a proliferating OPC exits the cell cycle, initiates differentiation, and becomes a myelin-forming oligodendrocyte that wraps axons. Here we discuss recent advances towards understanding the epigenetic control of oligodendrocyte development that integrates environmental stimuli. We suggest that OPCs are directly responsive to extrinsic signals due to predominantly euchromatic nuclei, while the heterochromatic nuclei render differentiating and myelinating cells less susceptible to signals modulating the epigenome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-138
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Neurobiology
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016


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