Myelination of neuronal axons is essential for proper brain functioning and requires mature myelinating oligodendrocytes (myOLs). The human OL cell lines HOG and MO3.13 have been widely used as in vitro models to study OL (dys) functioning. Here we applied a number of protocols aimed at differentiating HOG and MO3.13 cells into myOLs. However, none of the differentiation protocols led to increased expression of terminal OL differentiation or myelin-sheath formation markers. Surprisingly, the applied protocols did cause changes in the expression of markers for early OLs, neurons, astrocytes and Schwann cells. Furthermore, we noticed that mRNA expression levels in HOG and MO3.13 cells may be affected by the density of the cultured cells. Finally, HOG and MO3.13 co-cultured with human neuronal SH-SY5Y cells did not show myelin formation under several pro-OL-differentiation and pro-myelinating conditions. Together, our results illustrate the difficulty of inducing maturation of HOG and MO3.13 cells into myOLs, implying that these oligodendrocytic cell lines may not represent an appropriate model to study the (dys)functioning of human (my)OLs and OL-linked disease mechanisms.
More about this NDR research can be read in the Open Access journal Cells: https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4409/8/9/1096.