Quantification of the effects of astrocytes on oligodendroglial morphology

M. Morley, David E Pleasure, B. Kreider

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Oligodendrocytes in neonatal rat forebrain cultures grow either in isolation of other cells or upon astrocytes. Populations of both types of oligodendrocytes were used to quantify the effects of astrocytes on oligodendroglial morphology. Changes in oligodendroglial size and shape were determined by measurement of total process length, cell area, growth area, and fractal dimension. The directionality of process growth, quantified by measurement of the axes of growth, was also compared. Isolated oligodendrocytes exhibited greater total process length, greater cellular area, larger growth area, and a more complex boundary than oligodendrocytes growing upon astrocytes. Analysis of the axes of cellular growth revealed that the processes of isolated oligodendrocytes exhibited radial symmetry, whereas the processes of oligodendrocytes growing upon astrocytes were limited to an area demarcated by the astrocytic processes. These data suggest that, in neuron-free culture, the growth of oligodendroglial processes is modified by underlying astrocytic processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-228
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 15 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Astrocytes
  • Morphology
  • Oligodendrocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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