Influence of Vav3 and Rho GTPases during differentiation of oligodendrocytes

The importance of oligodendrocytes for the CNS is highlighted by demyelinating diseases like Multiple Sclerosis. Successful remyelination comprises at least three essential steps. The proliferation of oligodendrocytes and subsequently following their migration to unmyelinated axons, where oligodendrocyte precursor cells differentiate to mature, myelin membrane forming oligodendrocytes. The process of migration and the morphological change during differentiation in oligodendrocytes is regulated - amongst others - by GTPases.

So, the major aspect of this research project is focused on the role of Vav3 and the GTPases, which were activated by Vav3, during the differentiation of oligodendrocytes and the process of myelination.

Short academic CV:

  • 2007 – 2012: Studies of Biology at the Ruhr University, Bochum
  • 2010: Bachlor of Science, Dept. of Cell Morphology and Molecular Neurobiology „Establishment of an oligosphere culture system derived from embryonic mouse tissue“
  • 2012: Master of Science, Dept. of Cell Morphology and Molecular Neurobiology „Development and cellbiological behaviour of oligodendrocyte precursor cells in a Tenascin-C-dependent manner“
  • Since Sept. 2012: Scientific research assistat at the Department of Cell morphology and Molecular Neurobiology

Applied methods:

Cell biology:

  • Primary cultures of oligodendrocytes
  • organotypic cerebellar slice cultures
  • primary culture of dorsalt root ganglion neurons
  • Transfection
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microscopy (Axiophot, Axiovert, LSM)
  • Digital videomicroscopy

Molecular biology:

  • Isolation of DNA and RNA
  • PCR
  • Cloning plasmids

Protein biochemistry:

  • Isolation of proteins
  • Western Blot


  • Karus M, Ulc A, Ehrlich M, Czopka T, Hennen E, Fischer J, Mizhorova M, Qamar N, Brüstle O, Faissner A. (2016) Regulation of oligodendrocyte precursor maintenance by chondroitin sulphate glycosaminoglycans. Glia. 2016 Feb;64(2):270-86. doi: 10.1002/glia.22928.

Click image to enlarge


Myelinated neurites in murine cerebellar slice cultures, scale bar: 20 µm

Annika Ulc

Annika Ulc

Office: NDEF 05/336
Tel.: +49 (0)234 / 32-24312