Cns myelination and remyelination depend on fatty acid synthesis by oligodendrocytes

Penelope Dimas, Laura Montani, Jorge A. Pereira, Daniel Moreno, Martin Trötzmüller, Joanne Gerber, Clay F. Semenkovich, Harald C. Köfeler, Ueli Suter

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88 Scopus citations


Oligodendrocytes (OLs) support neurons and signal transmission in the central nervous system (CNS) by enwrapping axons with myelin, a lipid-rich membrane structure. We addressed the significance of fatty acid (FA) synthesis in OLs by depleting FA synthase (FASN) from OL progenitor cells (OPCs) in transgenic mice. While we detected no effects in proliferation and differentiation along the postnatal OL lineage, we found that FASN is essential for accurate myelination, including myelin growth. Increasing dietary lipid intake could partially compensate for the FASN deficiency. Furthermore, FASN contributes to correct myelin lipid composition and stability of myelinated axons. Moreover, we depleted FASN specifically in adult OPCs to examine its relevance for remyelination. Applying lysolecithin-induced focal demyelinating spinal cord lesions, we found that FA synthesis is essential to sustain adult OPC-derived OLs and efficient remyelination. We conclude that FA synthesis in OLs plays key roles in CNS myelination and remyelination.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere44702
StatePublished - May 2019


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