Roles of Wnt proteins in neural development and maintenance

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2000 Jun;10(3):392-9. doi: 10.1016/s0959-4388(00)00100-8.


Many constituents of Wnt signaling pathways are expressed in the developing and mature nervous systems. Recent work has shown that Wnt signaling controls initial formation of the neural plate and many subsequent patterning decisions in the embryonic nervous system, including formation of the neural crest. Wnt signaling continues to be important at later stages of development. Wnts have been shown to regulate the anatomy of the neuronal cytoskeleton and the differentiation of synapses in the cerebellum. Wnt signaling has been demonstrated to regulate apoptosis and may participate in degenerative processes leading to cell death in the aging brain.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology*
  • Brain / growth & development*
  • Brain Chemistry / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins*


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Wnt Proteins
  • Zebrafish Proteins