Developmental genetics of vertebrate glial–cell specification

  title={Developmental genetics of vertebrate glial–cell specification},
  author={David H. Rowitch and Arnold R. Kriegstein},
Oligodendrocytes and astrocytes are macroglial cells of the vertebrate central nervous system. These cells have diverse roles in the maintenance of neurological function. In the embryo, the genetic mechanisms that underlie the specification of macroglial precursors in vivo appear strikingly similar to those that regulate the development of the diverse neuron types. The switch from producing neuronal to glial subtype-specific precursors can be modelled as an interplay between region-restricted… 
Oligodendrocyte generation during mouse development
Advances in the research on OL development are reviewed and areas where questions remain to be answered in both developmental biology and neurobiology related aspects are highlighted.
Genetic approaches to study glial cells in the rodent brain
Techniques that allow for cell‐specific gene modification including targeted mutagenesis and viral transduction are summarized and genetic models that allow to target the main glial cell types in the central nervous system are described.
Drosophila Glia: Models for Human Neurodevelopmental and Neurodegenerative Disorders
Recent studies that explore glial functions in normal neuronal development, along with Drosophila models that seek to identify the pathological implications of glial defects in the context of various central nervous system disorders are reviewed.
Astrocyte development and heterogeneity.
It is proposed that astrocytes' diversity will provide fundamental clues to understand regional brain organization and function and could help explain how the central nervous system retains embryonic positional information into adulthood.
Physiology of Astroglia.
Astrocytes are tightly integrated into neural networks and act within the context of neural tissue; astrocytes control homeostasis of the CNS at all levels of organization from molecular to the whole organ.
Developmental Vascularization, Neurogenesis, Myelination, and Astrogliogenesis
This chapter will provide an assessment of data currently available from in vivo and in vitro studies evaluating the dynamic, interactive nature of these processes throughout the progression of nervous system development.
Temporal fate specification and neural progenitor competence during development
Studies of temporal-identity specification and progenitor competence can provide insight into how neural progenitors could be used to more effectively generate specific cell types for brain repair.
Lineage specification in the fly nervous system and evolutionary implications
The regulation and the role of the fly glial determinant are described and the impact of the determinant in cell plasticity and differentiation is discussed and the conservation of this pathway across evolution is addressed.


Specification and Morphogenesis of Astrocytes
Astrocytes are the most abundant cell type in the mammalian brain and a major challenge for the field is to understand how astrocytes talk to each other, and to neurons, during development to establish appropriateAstrocytic and neuronal network architectures.
Delta-Notch signaling regulates oligodendrocyte specification
Oligodendrocytes, the myelinating cell type of the central nervous system, arise from a ventral population of precursors that also produces motoneurons. Although the mechanisms that specify
Specification of astrocytes by bHLH protein SCL in a restricted region of the neural tube
A regionally restricted transcriptional programme necessary for astrocyte and V2b interneuron development is demonstrated, with striking parallels to the involvement of SCL in haematopoiesis, and acquisition of embryonic glial subtype identity might be regulated by genetic interactions between SCL and the transcription factor Olig2 in the ventral neural tube.
Regulatory pathways linking progenitor patterning, cell fates and neurogenesis in the ventral neural tube
  • J. Briscoe, B. Novitch
  • Biology
    Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2007
A greater knowledge of the molecular control of neural development is likely to have practical benefits in understanding the causes and consequences of neurological diseases, and how an understanding of normal neural development can be applied to direct differentiation of stem cells in vitro to specific neuronal subtypes.
Mash1 specifies neurons and oligodendrocytes in the postnatal brain
The conservation of Mash1 function in the postnatal SVZ suggests that the same transcription mechanisms operate throughout life to specify cell fates in this structure, and that the profound changes in the cell types produced reflect changes inThe signalling environment of the SVZ.
An intrinsic mechanism of corticogenesis from embryonic stem cells
It is shown that mouse embryonic stem cells, cultured without any morphogen but in the presence of a sonic hedgehog inhibitor, recapitulate in vitro the major milestones of cortical development, leading to the sequential generation of a diverse repertoire of neurons that display most salient features of genuine cortical pyramidal neurons.
The Sox9 transcription factor determines glial fate choice in the developing spinal cord.
Stem cells apparently fail to switch from neurogenesis to gliogenesis in at least two domains of the ventricular zone, indicating that Sox9 is a major molecular component of the neuron-glia switch in the developing spinal cord.