Temporal fate specification and neural progenitor competence during development

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2013 Dec;14(12):823-38. doi: 10.1038/nrn3618.


The vast diversity of neurons and glia of the CNS is generated from a small, heterogeneous population of progenitors that undergo transcriptional changes during development to sequentially specify distinct cell fates. Guided by cell-intrinsic and -extrinsic cues, invertebrate and mammalian neural progenitors carefully regulate when and how many of each cell type is produced, enabling the formation of functional neural circuits. Emerging evidence indicates that neural progenitors also undergo changes in global chromatin architecture, thereby restricting when a particular cell type can be generated. Studies of temporal-identity specification and progenitor competence can provide insight into how we could use neural progenitors to more effectively generate specific cell types for brain repair.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Central Nervous System / cytology*
  • Central Nervous System / growth & development*
  • Neural Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Neuroglia / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology*