- One of the three types of glia cells (the other two being macroglia or astrocytes, and microglia) that, together with nerve cells, compose the tissue of the central nervous system. O. cells are characterized by variable numbers of veillike or sheetlike processes that are wrapped each around individual axons to form the myelin sheath of nerve fibers in the central nervous system (compared with Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system); forms myelin in the central nervous system; accordingly, they are more numerous in white matter than in gray matter. SYN: oligodendria. [oligo- + G. dendron, tree, + glia, glue]
* * *oli·go·den·drog·lia -den-'dräg-lē-ə, -'drōg- n glia made up of oligodendrocytes that forms the myelin sheath around axons in the central nervous systemoli·go·den·drog·li·al -lē-əl adj
* * *ol·i·go·den·drog·lia (ol″ĭ-go-den-drogґle-ə) [oligo- + dendro- + neuroglia] 1. the non-neural cells of ectodermal origin forming part of the adventitial structure (neuroglia) of the central nervous system; projections of the surface membrane of each of these cells (oligodendrocytes) fan out and coil around the axon of many neurons to form myelin sheaths in the white matter. With microglia, they form the perineuronal satellites in the gray matter. 2. the tissue composed of such cells. oligodendroglial adj
Medical dictionary. 2011.