Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Previous work has shown that motor skill learning stimulates and requires generation of myelinating oligodendrocytes (OLs) from their precursor cells (OLPs) in the brains of adult mice. In the present study we ask whether OL production is also required for non-motor learning and cognition, using T-maze and radial-arm-maze tasks that tax spatial working memory. We find that maze training stimulates OLP proliferation and OL production in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), anterior corpus callosum (genu), dorsal thalamus and hippocampal formation of adult male mice; myelin sheath formation is also stimulated in the genu. Genetic blockade of OL differentiation and neo-myelination in Myrf conditional-knockout mice strongly impairs training-induced improvements in maze performance. We find a strong positive correlation between the performance of individual wild type mice and the scale of OLP proliferation and OL generation during training, but not with the number or intensity of c-Fos+ neurons in their mPFC, underscoring the important role played by OL lineage cells in cognitive processing.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Commun

Publication Date





Humans, Mice, Animals, Male, Memory, Short-Term, Cognitive Training, Oligodendroglia, Mice, Knockout, Cognition, Myelin Sheath