Ethan Hughes Lab | In vivo imaging of oligodendrocyte differentiation

In vivo imaging of differentiation of an oligodendrocyte precursor cell over 10 days.

Ethan Hughes Lab | In vivo imaging of CNS myelin sheaths in cortex

Classification of individual myelin sheaths in a 125um cubed volume of layer I of cortex acquired via in vivo imaging. 

Ethan Hughes Lab | In vivo imaging of OPC response to CNS injury

30 day colorized montage of in vivo imaging of an oligodendrocyte precursor cell responding to a CNS injury (white).

Neuron-glia interactions in the adult CNS

The long-term goals of our work are to understand how neuron-glial interactions modulate brain function and contribute to pathology in neurodegenerative disease. Towards this goal, we study the interactions of oligodendrocyte lineage cells with neurons in the adult cerebral cortex.


Oligodendrocytes are the myelin-forming cells of CNS and their ensheathment of axons is essential for rapid synaptic communication. Oligodendrocyte dysfunction results in a diverse group of pediatric and adult disorders, most notably, X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy and multiple sclerosis. However, our understanding of the functions of oligodendrocytes and their precursors remains in its infancy. We use advanced imaging and cell-specific genetic manipulations to explore dynamic changes in neurons and glial cells in the living adult brain using long-term multi-photon in vivo imaging, optogenetics, genetically encoded calcium indicators, and transcriptomics.