The present study aims to examine the origin of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) in the mouse optic nerve (ON) by labeling OPCs in the fetal forebrain. The labeling of OPCs in the ON was performed by injection of a retrovirus vector carrying the lacZ gene into the lateral ventricle, or by inducible Cre/loxP of Olig2-positive cells. The retrovirus labeling revealed that ventricular zone-derived cells of the fetal forebrain relocated to the ON and differentiated into oligodendrocytes. In addition, lineage tracing of Olig2-positive cells and whole mount staining of PDGFRα-positive cells demonstrated that OPCs appeared by E12.5 in the preoptic area, and spread caudally to enter the ON. Our results also suggest that OPCs generated during the early stage are depleted from the ON after maturation.