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Brain Res. 1988 Jan-Mar;472(1):77-101.

The cellular neurobiology of neuronal development: the cerebellar granule cell.

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Physiological Laboratory, University of Liverpool, UK.


Cerebellar granule cells in vivo and in vitro have been widely used in the study of the cellular neurobiology of neuronal development. We have described the basic neuroanatomical data on the granule cell in the developing and mature cerebellum. The importance of the cytoskeleton in determining the morphology of the granule cell and in process outgrowth and cell migration has been described. Extensive information is now available on the composition of the granule cell cytoskeleton. Cell surface glycoproteins are thought to be involved in the control of cell adhesion and cellular interactions during development. A number of surface molecules belonging to either the N-CAM or the Ng-CAM groups of glycoproteins have been studied in detail in the cerebellum. The role of these proteins in cell adhesion and in granule cell-astroglial interactions during granule cell migration has been reviewed. The survival and differentiation of neurones is controlled by soluble trophic factors. Several factors have been described which act as trophic factors for granule cells in vitro and may do the same in vivo. The numerous studies that have been carried out on the cerebellar granule cell have allowed us to describe certain aspects of the cellular neurobiology of this class of neurones as an example with general significance for the understanding of neuronal differentiation and function.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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