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Trends Neurosci. 2002 Aug;25(8):417-22.

An 'oligarchy' rules neural development.

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  • 1Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, 44 Binney Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Recent reports show that Olig genes, which encode the basic helix-loop-helix Olig transcription factors, are essential for development of oligodendrocytes. Surprisingly, Olig function is also required for formation of somatic motor neurons. These findings alter our views of how the oligodendrocyte lineage is generated and raise further questions about the underlying developmental relationships between neurons and glia.

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