Oligodendrocytes, which are the main cell type in cerebral white matter, are generated from their precursor cells (oligodendrocyte precursor cells: OPCs). However, the differentiation from OPCs to oligodendrocytes is disturbed under stressed conditions. Therefore, drugs that can improve oligodendrocyte regeneration may be effective for white matter-related diseases. Here we show that a vasoactive peptide adrenomedullin (AM) promotes the in vitro differentiation of OPCs under pathological conditions. Primary OPCs were prepared from neonatal rat brains, and differentiated into myelin-basic-protein expressing oligodendrocytes over time. This in vitro OPC differentiation was inhibited by prolonged chemical hypoxic stress induced by non-lethal CoCl2 treatment. However, AM promoted the OPC differentiation under the hypoxic stress conditions, and the AM receptor antagonist AM22-52 canceled the AM-induced OPC differentiation. In addition, AM treatment increased the phosphorylation level of Akt in OPC cultures, and correspondingly, the PI3K/Akt inhibitor LY294002 blocked the AM-induced OPC differentiation. Taken together, AM treatment rescued OPC maturation under pathological conditions via an AM-receptor-PI3K/Akt pathway. Oligodendrocytes play critical roles in white matter by forming myelin sheath. Therefore, AM signaling may be a promising therapeutic target to boost oligodendrocyte regeneration in CNS disorders.
Maki, T., Takahashi, Y., Miyamoto, N., Liang, A. C., Ihara, M., Lo, E. H., & Arai, K. (2015). Adrenomedullin promotes differentiation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells into myelin-basic-protein expressing oligodendrocytes under pathological conditions in vitro. Stem Cell Research, 15(1), 68–74. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scr.2015.05.001