The glial identity of neural stem cells

Nat Neurosci. 2003 Nov;6(11):1127-34. doi: 10.1038/nn1144. Epub 2003 Oct 28.


Glia are the most numerous cells in the brain, and their many diverse functions highlight their essential role in the nervous system. Recent studies have revealed an unexpected new role for glia in a wide variety of species, that of stem cells/progenitors in the adult and embryonic brain. Differentiation along the glial lineage may be a default state of development reflected in the progression of stem cells along the neuroepithelial-->radial glia-->astrocyte lineage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / cytology
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Cell Lineage
  • Central Nervous System / cytology
  • Central Nervous System / embryology
  • Central Nervous System / physiology
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Lateral Ventricles
  • Neuroglia / classification
  • Neuroglia / cytology*
  • Neuroglia / physiology
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*