Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Gregory Walsh


Myelinating oligodendrocytes develop from a migratory population of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs). Complete myelination requires that oligodendrocytes be uniformly distributed to myelinate along the entire length of target axons. We propose that OPC migration is a form of collective migration, since one OPC can have an impact on the positioning of another OPC. We further propose that the mechanism of OPC self-avoidance involves contact inhibition of locomotion (CIL), and represents another in vivo model system to study the mechanism of this cell-cell contact mediated collective migratory behavior. N-cadherin is a transmembrane cell adhesion molecule that functions in CIL for other cell types. Here, we test whether N-Cadherin is required for OPC migration and dispersion. Using a dominant-negative approach, transgenic zebrafish, and extensive live imaging, we demonstrate that N-cadherin is not required for OPC migration per se, but is required for OPC self-avoidance and tiling in the developing nervous system.


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Available for download on Friday, July 02, 2027