An oligodendrocyte is a type of glial cell - the cells that building and maintain nerves in the central nervous system. Oligodendrocytes maintain and provide myelin to axons. Typically, one oligodendrocyte will support about fifty axons.
Most demylinating diseases are the result of a malfunction of oligodendrocytes. Although there are several causes of oligodendrocyte dysfunction, the most common is an excess of glutamate. It also appears that oligodendrocytes are involved in several psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia.