Targeting the subventricular zone to promote myelin repair in the aging brain

Arthur Butt, Andrea Rivera, Daniel Fulton, Kasum Azim

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The subventricular zone (SVZ) is the largest and most active germinal zone in the adult forebrain. Neural stem cells (NSCs) of the SVZ generate olfactory interneurons throughout life and retain the intrinsic ability to generate oligodendrocytes (OLs), the myelinating cells of the central nervous system. OLs and myelin are targets in demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS). Remyelination is dependent on the ability of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) to proliferate, migrate, and terminally differentiate into myelinating OLs. During aging, there is a gradual decrease in the regenerative capacity of OPCs, and the consequent loss of OLs and myelin is a contributing factor in cognitive decline and the failure of remyelination in MS and other pathologies with aging contexts, including Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and stroke. The age-related decrease in oligodendrogenesis has not been fully characterised but is known to reflect changes in intrinsic and environmental factors affecting the ability of OPCs to respond to pro-differentiation stimuli. Notably, SVZ-derived OPCs are an important source of remyelinating OLs in addition to parenchymal OPCs. In this mini-review, we briefly discuss differences between SVZ-derived and parenchymal OPCs in their responses to demyelination and highlight challenges associated with their study in vivo and how they can be targeted for regenerative therapies in the aged brain.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1809
Number of pages10
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2022


  • oligodendrogenesis
  • subventricular zone
  • aging
  • multiple sclerosis
  • remyelination
  • UKRI
  • BB/M029379/1
  • MRC
  • MR/P025811/1


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