Olig2 Ablation in Immature Oligodendrocytes Does Not Enhance CNS Myelination and Remyelination

Jiajia Wang, Lijun Yang, Mingqing Jiang, Chuntao Zhao, Xuezhao Liu, Kalen Berry, Ari Waisman, Abraham J. Langseth, Bennett G. Novitch, Dwight E. Bergles, Akiko Nishiyama, Q. Richard Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The oligodendrocyte (OL) lineage transcription factor Olig2 is expressed throughout oligodendroglial development and is essential for oligodendroglial progenitor specification and differentiation. It was previously reported that deletion of Olig2 enhanced the maturation and myelination of immature OLs and accelerated the remyelination process. However, by analyzing multiple Olig2 conditional KO mouse lines (male and female), we conclude that Olig2 has the opposite effect and is required for OL maturation and remyelination. We found that deletion of Olig2 in immature OLs driven by an immature OL-expressing Plp1 promoter resulted in defects in OL maturation and myelination, and did not enhance remyelination after demyelination. Similarly, Olig2 deletion during premyelinating stages in immature OLs using Mobp or Mog promoter-driven Cre lines also did not enhance OL maturation in the CNS. Further, we found that Olig2 was not required for myelin maintenance in mature OLs but was critical for remyelination after lysolecithin-induced demyelinating injury. Analysis of genomic occupancy in immature and mature OLs revealed that Olig2 targets the enhancers of key myelination-related genes for OL maturation from immature OLs. Together, by leveraging multiple immature OL-expressing Cre lines, these studies indicate that Olig2 is essential for differentiation and myelination of immature OLs and myelin repair. Our findings raise fundamental questions about the previously proposed role of Olig2 in opposing OL myelination and highlight the importance of using Cre-dependent reporter(s) for lineage tracing in studying cell state progression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8542-8555
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number45
StatePublished - Nov 9 2022


  • Olig2
  • demyelination
  • myelination
  • oligodendrocyte lineage
  • remyelination
  • white matter injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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