Complexity analysis of oligodendroglial processes expressing myelin-associated glycoprotein

B. Q. Kreider, M. Morley, M. M. Burns, L. A. Lavy, David E Pleasure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Oligodendroglia synthesize myelin in the mammalian central nervous system. Mature oligodendroglia have been identified in culture by two criteria: the expression of molecules characteristic of myelin, such as galactocerebroside (galC) and myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG), and the elaboration of complex processes. Myelin gene expression can be documented by the binding of specific antibodies and antisera to the myelin-specific molecules; process complexity can be described by the fractal dimension, D. In this study, anti-MAG antisera was used to document MAG expression in the processes of oligodendroglia. Eighty percent of the galC+ oligodendroglia bound anti-MAG antiserum. With time in culture, MAG immunoreactivity seemed to extend from the cell soma into the oligodendroglial processes. To quantify this observation, fractal dimensions were calculated using either galC or MAG immunoreactivity to visualize oligodendroglial processes. A fractal dimension of 1.5 was calculated for O1+ processes by day 4 of culture; this value for D remained constant over the course of 1 month in culture. The fractal dimension calculated for MAG+ processes increased from 1.2 to 1.5 over the course of 28 days in culture. This change in fractal dimension confirms our visual impression that galC-containing processes acquire MAG slowly over the course of several weeks in culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)459-470
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Fractal dimension
  • Galactocerebroside
  • Morphological complexity
  • Oligodendroglia
  • Process formation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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