Volume 8, Issue 2, April 2013
Traditionally, oligodendrocytes are viewed as myelin-forming cells which guarantee saltatory conduction of action potentials through myelin sheath in vertebrate nervous system. However, accumulating evidence demonstrates that oligodendrocytes have many other functions independent of myelin sheath, which have not been fully appreciated by the community for a long time. Under normal conditions, these intimate friends of neurons can secrete a number of neurotrophic factors like GDNF, which are pivotal to neuron survival. They also can support neurons through metabolite coupling, in which lactate is provided for myelinated axons by glycolytic oligodendrocytes. Unfortunately, oligodendrocytes are susceptible to a broad range of insults such as reactive oxygen species and inflammation due to their high levels of energy cost. Some gene mutations can also cause dysfunction of these versatile cells, which even cause secondary degeneration of neurons. More detailed investigations on the functions of oligodendrocytes in a variety of conditions will significantly broaden our understanding of the physiology and pathophysiology of oligodendrocyte and disease pathogenesis. Consequently, the knowledge generated from these studies help to identify new therapeutic targets to treat oligodendrocyte-associated neurodegenerative disorders.
Criticality, adaptability and early-warning signals in time series in a discrete quasispecies model
R. Fossion, D. A. Hartasánchez, O. Resendis-Antonio, A. Frank
Abstract Full text Full text for uses in China