Notch in the vertebrate nervous system: an old dog with new tricks

Neuron. 2011 Mar 10;69(5):840-55. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2011.02.031.


The Notch pathway is prominent among those known to regulate neural development in vertebrates. Notch receptor activation can inhibit neurogenesis, maintain neural progenitor character, and in some contexts promote gliogenesis and drive binary fate choices. Recently, a wave of exciting studies has emerged, which has both solidified previously held assertions and expanded our understanding of Notch function during neurogenesis and in the adult brain. These studies have examined pathway regulators and interactions, as well as pathway dynamics, with respect to both gene expression and cell-cell signaling. Here, focusing primarily on vertebrates, we review the current literature on Notch signaling in the nervous system, and highlight numerous recent studies that have generated interesting and unexpected advances.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Nervous System / metabolism*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Receptors, Notch / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Receptors, Notch