Modes and regulation of glial migration in vertebrates and invertebrates

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2009 Nov;10(11):769-79. doi: 10.1038/nrn2720. Epub 2009 Sep 23.


Neurons and glial cells show mutual interdependence in many developmental and functional aspects of their biology. To establish their intricate relationships with neurons, glial cells must migrate over what are often long distances. In the CNS glial cells generally migrate as single cells, whereas PNS glial cells tend to migrate as cohorts of cells. How are their journeys initiated and directed, and what stops the migratory phase once glial cells are aligned with their neuronal counterparts? A deeper understanding of glial migration and the underlying neuron-glia interactions may contribute to the development of therapeutics for demyelinating diseases or glial tumours.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Humans
  • Invertebrates* / anatomy & histology
  • Invertebrates* / physiology
  • Neuroglia / classification
  • Neuroglia / cytology*
  • Neuroglia / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Species Specificity
  • Vertebrates* / anatomy & histology
  • Vertebrates* / physiology