Cell death and control of cell survival in the oligodendrocyte lineage.
Dead cells are observed in many developing animal tissues, but the causes of these normal cell deaths are mostly unknown. We show that about 50% of oligodendrocytes normally die in the developing rat optic nerve, apparently as a result of a competition for limiting amounts of survival signals. Both platelet-derived growth factor and insulin-like growth factors are survival factors for newly formed oligodendrocytes and their precursors in culture. Increasing platelet-derived growth factor in the developing optic nerve decreases normal oligodendrocyte death by up to 90% and doubles the number of oligodendrocytes in 4 days. These results suggest that a requirement for survival signals is more general than previously thought and that some normal cell deaths in nonneural tissues may also reflect competition for survival factors.
Barres, BA; Hart, IK; Coles, HS; Burne, JF; Voyvodic, JT; Richardson, WD; Raff, MC
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