Molecular mechanisms of enhanced susceptibility to apoptosis in differentiating oligodendrocytes

D. J. Osterhout, M. Marin-Husstege, P. Abano, P. Casaccia-Bonnefil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Several studies have shown that the progression of oligodendrocyte progenitors along the lineage correlates with increased susceptibility to death stimuli. The molecular basis of this phenomenon remains unclear. This study demonstrates that the protein levels of several proapoptotic molecules, including Bax, Bad (nonphosphorylated form), and certain caspase proforms, increase during oligodendrocyte development. In contrast, the steady-state levels of antiapoptotic molecules, such as Bcl2 and BclXL, remain constant. This altered equilibrium between proapoptotic and antiapoptotic molecules correlates with increased cytochrome C in the cytosol. We conclude that, as oligodendrocytes mature, their susceptibility to apoptosis increases because of a change in the balance between protective mechanisms and proapoptotic pathways. This suggests the possible existence of a death susceptibility program, which is intrinsic to differentiating oligodendrocyte progenitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-29
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Oligodendrocytes
  • Proapoptotic molecules


Dive into the research topics of 'Molecular mechanisms of enhanced susceptibility to apoptosis in differentiating oligodendrocytes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this