: A type of cell in the central nervous system. The oligodendrocytes surround and insulate the long fibers (the axons) through which the nerves send their electrical messages. The term "oligodendrocyte" comes from the fact that through a microscope the cell's projections looked like the sparse branches of a tree. The word is from the Greek "oligo-", few or scant + "dendron", tree + "-cyte", cell.
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oli·go·den·dro·cyte -'den-drə-.sīt n a glial cell resembling an astrocyte but smaller with few and slender processes having few branches

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one of the cells of the glia, responsible for producing the myelin sheaths of the neurones of the central nervous system and therefore equivalent to the Schwann cells of the peripheral nerves.

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ol·i·go·den·dro·cyte (ol″ĭ-go-denґdro-sīt) [oligodendroglia + -cyte] a cell of the oligodendroglia.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Oligodendrocyte — Oligodendrocyte …   Wikipedia

  • oligodendrocyte — ● oligodendrocyte nom masculin Variété de cellules gliales de petites dimensions. (Dans la substance grise, les oligodendrocytes accompagnent les neurones et, dans la substance blanche, ils fabriquent la myélite.) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Oligodendrocyte — Un oligodendrocyte Réseau neural simple avec deux c …   Wikipédia en Français

  • oligodendrocyte — A cell that forms the myelin sheath (a layer that covers and protects nerve cells) in the brain and spinal cord. An oligodendrocyte is a type of glial cell …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • oligodendrocyte — noun Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary, from olig + dendr + cyte Date: 1932 a glial cell resembling an astrocyte but smaller with few and slender processes having few branches …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • oligodendrocyte — Neuroglial cell of the central nervous system in vertebrates whose function is to myelinate CNS axons …   Dictionary of molecular biology

  • oligodendrocyte — ol·i·go·den·dro·cyte (ŏl ĭ gō dĕnʹdrə sīt , ō lĭ ) n. One of the cells comprising the oligodendroglia. * * * …   Universalium

  • oligodendrocyte — noun any of the cells of the oligodendroglia in the nervous system …   Wiktionary

  • oligodendrocyte — [ˌɒlɪgə(ʊ) dɛndrəsʌɪt] noun Anatomy a glial cell resembling an astrocyte but with fewer protuberances, concerned with the production of myelin. Origin 1930s: from oligodendroglia + cyte …   English new terms dictionary

  • oligodendrocyte — ol·i·go·den·dro·cyte …   English syllables

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