A vast majority of cells in the brain are glial, yet our understanding of how they are generated, a process called gliogenesis, has remained enigmatic. Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have identified a novel transcripitonal cascade that controls these formative stages of gliogenesis and answered the longstanding question of how glial cells are generated from neural stem cells.
The findings appear in the current edition of Neuron.
"Most people are familiar with neurons, cells that process and transmit information in the brain. Glial cells, on the other hand, make-up about 80 percent of the cells in the brain and function by providing trophic support to neruons, participating in neurotransmission, myelin sheaths for axons, and comprise the blood brain barrier," said Dr. Benjamin Deneen, assistant professor of neuroscience at BCM. "Importantly, glia have been linked to numerous CNS pathologies, from brain tumors and spinal cord injury and several neurological disorders including, Retts Syndrome, ALS, and Multiple Sclerosis. Therefore deciphering how glial cells are generated is key to understanding brain function during health and disease."... Read More - http://www.msrc.co.uk/index.cfm/fuseact ... ageid/1826