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USMLE – Oligodendrocytes

Oligodendroglial cytoplasmic processes wrap around the axons of neurons to form myelin in a manner analogous to the Schwann cells of the peripheral nervous system. In routine sections, oligodendroglia are recognizable by their small, rounded, lymphocyte-like nuclei, often arranged in linear arrays. Injury to oligodendroglial cells is a feature of acquired demyelinating disorders (e.g., multiple sclerosis) and is also seen in the leukodystrophies. Oligodendroglial nuclei may harbor viral inclusions in certain conditions such as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy.

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