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William D Richardson PhD FLS FMedSci       Developmental Neuroscience

Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research,

University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK.

tel +44 (0)20 7679 6729 fax +44 (0)20 7209 0470

Cell-cell interactions in the developing central nervous system  The vertebrate central nervous system (CNS) is immensely complicated, yet it has simple beginnings. The huge number and variety of cells in the mature CNS all develop from a much smaller number of precursor (stem) cells in the embryonic neural tube. Two of the central questions of neurodevelopment - and development in general are: 1) How do stem cells select their future fates? 2) How do stem cells generate their differentiated progeny in correct numerical proportion to each other and to the size of the embryo as a whole? We are addressing these issues, focusing on the development of glial progenitor cells in the CNS. We take a multidisciplinary approach including primary cell culture, in situ methods and genetic manipulation in mice.

Pools of precursor/ stem cells persist in the adult CNS. Some inhabit the subventricular zones (SVZ) of the forebrain where they produce new neurons for the olfactory bulb throughout life. Others reside in the hippocampus and continuously generate new hippocampal interneurons in the adult. Another population of cells with stem-like properties adult oligodendrocyte progenitors (OLPs, also known as NG2 cells) - is scattered uniformly throughout the brain and spinal cord. We recently provided evidence that NG2 cells generate new myelinating oligodendrocytes during adulthood as well as some projection neurons in the piriform cortex (primary olfactory cortex). Following injury or disease NG2 cells generate additional cell types including astrocytes and Schwann cells. We are investigating the biology and functions of the different populations of neural stem/ precursor cells and their differentiated progeny in the adult CNS.

William D Richardson short CV

Young, K.M., Psachoulia, K., Tripathi, R.B., Dunn, S.-J., Cossell, L., Attwell, D., Tohyama, K. and Richardson, W.D. (2013). Oligodendrocyte dynamics in the healthy adult CNS: evidence for myelin remodelling. Neuron.77, 873-885.

Tripathi, R.B., Rivers, L.E., Jamen, F. Young, K.M. and Richardson, W.D. (2010). PDGFRA/ NG2 glia generate oligodendrocytes but few astrocytes in a murine EAE model of demyelinating disease. J. Neurosci. 30, 16383-16390.


Zawadzka, M., Rivers, L., Fancy, S.P.J., Zhao, C., Tripathi, R., Jamen, F., Young, K.M.,Goncharevich, A., Pohl, H., Rizzi, M., Rowitch, D.H., Kessaris, N., Suter, U., *Richardson, W.D. and *Franklin, R.J.M. (2010). CNS-resident glial progenitor/stem cells produce Schwann cells as well as oligodendrocytes during repair of CNS demyelination. Cell Stem Cell 6, 578-590. * joint senior authors

Rivers, L.E., Young, K.M., Rizzi, M., Jamen, F., Psachoulia, K., Wade, A., Kessaris, N. and Richardson, W.D. (2008). PDGFRA/ NG2-positive glia generate myelinating oligodendrocytes and piriform projection neurons in adult mice. Nature Neuroscience 11, 1392-1401. [see News and Views: Kang, S.H. and Bergles, D.E. (2008). Nat. Neurosci. 11, 1365-1367]

Young, K., Fogarty, M., Kessaris, N. and Richardson, W.D. (2007). Subventricular zone stem cells are heterogeneous with respect to their embryonic origins and neurogenic fates in the adult olfactory bulb. J. Neurosci. 27, 8286-8296.

Li, H., Lu, Y., Smith, H.K. and Richardson W.D. (2007). Olig1 and Sox10 interact synergistically to drive myelin basic protein (mbp) transcription in oligodendrocytes. J. Neurosci. 27, 14375-14382.

Richardson, W.D., Kessaris, N., & Pringle, N.P. (2006). Oligodendrocyte Wars. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 7, 11-18.

Kessaris, N., Fogarty, M., Iannarelli, P., Grist, M., Wegner, M. and Richardson, W.D. (2006). Competing waves of oligodendrocytes in the forebrain and postnatal elimination of an embryonic lineage. Nature Neuroscience 9, 173-179. [see News and Views: Ventura, R.E. and Goldman, J.E. (2006). Nature Neuroscience 9,153-154]