Glial cells comprise most of the non-neuronal cells of the brain and peripheral nervous system, and include the myelin-forming oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells, radial glia and astrocytes. Their functions are diverse and include almost every aspect of nervous system function, from the birth and death of cells to the migrations and cell-cell interactions that connect and integrate the working elements of the nervous system. Recent studies have provided exciting insights into the mechanisms that drive the conversion into a glial cell and the developmental signals that guide the behavior of these multifunctional cells. An emerging theme is the so-called glial lineage being more diverse and more plastic than was previously thought. Here, we highlight some recent insights into glial development.
- 2′,3′-cyclic nucleotide 3′-phosphosdiesterase
- Basic helix-loop-helix
- Bone morphogen protein
- Family of proteins composed of Ezrin, Radixin and Moesin
- Glial-derived neurotrophic factor
- Histone deacetylase