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Non-Cell-Autonomous Mechanism in Oligodendrocyte Regeneration After White Matter Damage

11:00 am to 12:00 pm

Presentation: I will present some key data from my laboratory regarding the roles of endothelial cells, astrocytes, and pericytes in OPC proliferation and differentiation. Because OPC is one of the major cell types in adult white matter, understanding and dissecting OPC-related non-cell-autonomous mechanisms of oligodendrocyte regeneration may lead to novel opportunities for white matter recovery in cerebrovascular diseases.

Abstract: Oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs) serve as progenitor cells of terminally differentiated oligodendrocytes. Mature oligodendrocytes form myelin sheaths around axons in the central nervous system, and the myelin sheath is essential in the fast impulse propagation along with the myelinated fiber. Because oligodendrocytes do not proliferate, OPCs play a critical role in increasing the number of oligodendrocytes during development or after oligodendrocyte/myelin damage. Although mechanisms of OPC differentiation have been examined and some extrinsic signaling molecules were identified as regulators of OPC differentiation into oligodendrocytes, precise mechanisms of OPC proliferation and differentiation still need to be elucidated, especially under the conditions of cerebrovascular diseases. As highlighted by the concept of the neurovascular unit, cell-cell interactions should be critical in supporting/maintaining OPC function, including oligodendrocyte generation.

Ken Arai, PhD
Associate Professor of Neurology and Radiology
Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

I am currently an Associate Professor of Neurology and Radiology at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and Assistant Neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). I have a broad background in molecular biology, cell culture, and in vivo animal models of brain injury. During the time when I was a scientist at Takeda Pharm and a research fellow at MGH/HMS, I focused my effort on elucidating mechanisms of brain cell death after stroke and on developing novel therapeutic approaches for the disease. My current work is focused on experimental and translational research in CNS white matter diseases such as stroke or vascular dementia. Experimental systems in my lab are molecular/cellular biology, in vivo imaging, and in vivo pharmacology.

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11:00 am to 12:00 pm
Wednesday, September 15, 2021 - 11:00am


Faculty, Staff, Students
University of Arizona Health Sciences
College of Medicine – Tucson


Tucson area
Main Campus – Tucson
College of Medicine
Room 8403
1501 N. Campbell


Vickie Healey
College of Medicine – Tucson