New myelin sheaths can be restored to demyelinated axons in a spontaneous regenerative process called remyelination. In general, new myelin sheaths are made by oligodendrocytes newly generated from a widespread population of adult CNS progenitors called oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs). New myelin in CNS remyelination in both experimental models and clinical diseases can also be generated by Schwann cells (SCs), the myelin-forming cells of the PNS. Fate-mapping studies have shown that SCs contributing to remyelination in the CNS are often derived from OPCs and appear not to be derived from myelinating SCs from the PNS. In this study, we address whether CNS remyelinating SCs can also be generated from PNS-derived cells other than myelinating SCs. Using a genetic fate-mapping approach, we have found that a subpopulation of nonmyelinating SCs identified by the expression of the transcription factor Foxj1 also contribute to CNS SC remyelination, as well as to remyelination in the PNS. We also find that the ependymal cells lining the central canal of the spinal cord, which also express Foxj1, do not generate cells that contribute to CNS remyelination. These findings therefore identify a previously unrecognized population of PNS glia that can participate in the regeneration of new myelin sheaths following CNS demyelination.
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Ma, D., Wang, B., Zawadzka, M., Gonzalez, G., Wu, Z., Yu, B., Rawlins, E. L., Franklin, R. J. M., & Zhao, C. (2018). A Subpopulation of Foxj1-Expressing, Nonmyelinating Schwann Cells of the Peripheral Nervous System Contribute to Schwann Cell Remyelination in the Central Nervous System. Journal of Neuroscience, 38(43), 9228-9239. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0585-18.2018