A Novel Three-Dimensional Culture System for Oligodendrocyte Precursor Cells

Naohiro Egawa, Akihiro Shindo, Anna C. Liang, Yang Du, Changhong Xing, Evan K. Lo, Kanako Itoh, Hisanori Kinoshita, Takakuni Maki, Ryosuke Takahashi, Ryo Sudo, Myron Spector, Josephine Lok, Ken Arai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Oligodendrocytes are generated from oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs). Mechanisms of OPC differentiation have been extensively examined with two-dimensional cell culture systems. However, these cellular events may be more accurately represented using a three-dimensional (3D) model. In this study, we report the development of a novel 3D OPC culture system using gels composed of a mixture of collagen and hyaluronan, wherein cultured rat primary OPCs can proliferate and differentiate into oligodendrocytes. Our data show that the gel concentration and cell-seeding density are critical factors for the numbers of OPCs and oligodendrocytes in our 3D culture system. In addition, Notch signaling, which supports cell-to-cell communication, may also be important for OPC function in our system because a Notch inhibitor DAPT suppressed OPC proliferation and differentiation. Taken together, cultured rat OPCs can grow in collagen-/hyaluronan-based gels, and our novel 3D OPC culture system may offer a useful platform for examining the mechanisms of OPC function in vitro.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1078-1085
Number of pages8
JournalStem Cells and Development
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul 15


  • 3D culture
  • Notch signaling
  • astrocyte
  • cell-cell interaction
  • oligodendrocyte precursor cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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