The identification of stem cells resident in the adult central nervous system has redirected the focus of research into demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, mainly affecting the brain white matter. This immunocytochemical and morphometrical study was carried out by confocal microscopy in the adult mouse cerebral cortex, with the aim of analysing, in the brain grey matter, the characteristics of the oligodendrocyte lineage cells, whose capability to remyelinate is still controversial. The observations demonstrated the presence in all the cortex layers of glial restricted progenitors, reactive to A2B5 marker, oligodendrocyte precursor cells, expressing the NG2 proteoglycan, and preoligodendrocytes and premyelinating oligodendrocytes, reactive to the specific marker O4. NG2 expressing cells constitute the major immature population of the cortex, since not only oligodendrocyte precursor cells and pre-oligodendrocytes but also a part of the glial restrict progenitors express the NG2 proteoglycan. Together with the popula tion of these immature cells, a larger population of mature oligodendrocytes was revealed by the classical oligodendrocyte and myelin markers, 2’,3’-cyclic nucleotide 3’phosphodiesterase, myelin basic protein and myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein. The results indicate that oligodendrocyte precursors committed to differentiate into myelin forming oligodendrocytes are present through all layers of the adult cortex and that their phenotypic features exactly recall those of the oligodendroglial lineage cells during development.