A new research article demonstrating the generation of human oligodendrocyte precursor cells from skin cells is published in Development
Oligodendrocyte disorders such as multiple sclerosis, leukodystrophies, and white matter injury associated with preterm birth cause oligodendrocyte cell death, leading to neurological dysfunctions. Currently available model systems for human oligodendrocytes (iPSC-based oligodendrocyte generation, cerebral organoids) are time-consuming, costly, and inefficient, making them infeasible for large-scale drug screening. This article describes the generation of functional human oligodendrocytes from skin cells using direct lineage conversion. The protocol is quick, efficient, and the engineered oligodendrocytes become functional myelin after transplantation. These engineered oligodendrocytes are expected to fast-forward drug discoveries for oligodendrocyte disorders.