Neurogenesis and asymmetric cell division

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2008 Feb;18(1):4-11. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2008.05.002. Epub 2008 May 29.


The astonishing cellular diversity in the central nervous system (CNS) arises from neural progenitors which can undergo different modes of symmetric and asymmetric divisions to self-renew as well as produce differentiated neuronal and glial progeny. Drosophila CNS neural progenitor cells, neuroblasts, have been utilised as a model to stimulate the understanding of the processes of asymmetric division, generation of neuronal lineages and, more recently, stem cell biology in vertebrates. Here we review some recent developments involving Drosophila and mammalian neural progenitor cells, highlighting some similarities and differences in the mechanisms that regulate their divisions during neurogenesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics*
  • Cell Division / genetics*
  • Cell Lineage / genetics
  • Cell Polarity / genetics
  • Central Nervous System / cytology
  • Central Nervous System / embryology*
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism
  • Drosophila melanogaster / embryology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Drosophila melanogaster / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental / genetics
  • Humans
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Spindle Apparatus / genetics
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / metabolism*