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EMBO Rep. 2014 Apr;15(4):351-64. doi: 10.1002/embr.201438447. Epub 2014 Mar 17.

Neurogenesis during development of the vertebrate central nervous system.

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Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, Germany.


During vertebrate development, a wide variety of cell types and tissues emerge from a single fertilized oocyte. One of these tissues, the central nervous system, contains many types of neurons and glial cells that were born during the period of embryonic and post-natal neuro- and gliogenesis. As to neurogenesis, neural progenitors initially divide symmetrically to expand their pool and switch to asymmetric neurogenic divisions at the onset of neurogenesis. This process involves various mechanisms involving intrinsic as well as extrinsic factors. Here, we discuss the recent advances and insights into regulation of neurogenesis in the developing vertebrate central nervous system. Topics include mechanisms of (a)symmetric cell division, transcriptional and epigenetic regulation, and signaling pathways, using mostly examples from the developing mammalian neocortex.

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