Proliferation control of neural cells in development
(Manuela Moraru, Emmi Roukala)




During embryonic and larval development neurons of the brain are generated by stem cell-like progenitors termed neuroblasts (NBs), which are able to asymmetrically divide to self-renew. NBs divide asymmetrically to give rise to another neuroblast and a daughter cell calle ganglion mother cell (GMC). The GMC further divides once more to give rise to postmitotic neurons and/or glia cells. Neurogenesis is tightly controlled in order to generate the precise number of neurons. By the end of metamorphosis all NBs have been eliminated either by entering a terminal cell cycle or through an apoptotic program.
We have developed an invitro model culturing primary neural cells to investigate their mitotic potential and the role of intrinsic and extrinsic factors on neurogenesis. Combining this system with genetic analysis on the mitotic potential of specific neuronal lineages and neural cell types in the brain we explore the mechanisms how proliferation in normal development is properly controlled and how the precise number of neurons is generated.

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