Prof. Dr. Christiane Richter-Landsberg
Organization and functional roles of the cytoskeleton in oligodendrocytes.
Richter-Landsberg C.; Microsc Res Tech. 2001 Mar 15;52(6):628-36. Review.
Mature oligodendrocytes are characterized by their numerous cytoplasmic extensions and flat membranous sheets. These sheets contain an extensive cytoskeletal network of microtubules (MTs) that maintain the cellular morphology, are specifically important for cellular sorting, and provide the rails for organelle trafficking. Mitochondria are localized in the primary and secondary processes and follow the tracks of the MTs in the cytoplasmic extensions. Oligodendrocytes express microtubule associated proteins (MAPs), specifically MAP2 and tau, which might be involved in the regulation and stabilization of the dynamic MT network in the myelin-containing cellular processes. Tau and MAP2 heterogeneity increases during oligodendroglia maturation, and in mature oligodendrocytes tau mRNA with four MT binding domains are more prominent than in progenitor cells. Filamentous cell inclusions are a unifying mechanism underlying a variety of late-onset neurodegenerative disorders and have mainly been viewed as neuron-specific. Recent evidence indicated that glial changes occur in CNS degenerative diseases and seem to be a more common feature than previously thought. Glial fibrillary tangles (GFTs) in oligodendrocytes were observed in familial multiple system tauopathy, and glial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCIs) and oligodendroglia degeneration are the histological hallmark of multiple system atrophy (MSA). GCIs are associated with MTs and contain stress proteins and MAPs. Thus, neurons and glial cells share common cytoskeletal pathologies. During health and disease, MAPs might be important regulators of the structural stability and plasticity of the oligodendroglia cytoskeleton.