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Published on Sep 18, 2011
http://ibioseminars.hhmi.org/lectures... In the second segment of my talk, I describe our work on cell number control in the rat oligodendrocyte cell lineage. Cell numbers depend on controls on both cell death and cell proliferation. We have found that oligodendrocytes are normally overproduced and kill themselves in large numbers in a competition for survival signals on the surface of the axons that the oligodendrocytes myelinate. Most differentiated cells, including oligodendrocytes, develop from dividing precursor cells that divide a limited number of times before they terminally differentiate, but it is not known what stops cell division and initiates differentiation. We have found that oligodendrocyte precursor cells have an intrinsic timing mechanism that helps determine when they stop dividing and differentiate.