2004 Volume 203 Issue 4 Pages 233-240
Recent progresses in molecular and developmental biology provide us a good idea how differentiation of glial cells in the vertebrate nervous system is regulated. Combinations of positional cues such as secreted proteins and cell-intrinsic mechanisms such as transcription factors are essential for the regulation of astrocyte and oligodendrocyte differentiation from the neural epithelium. In contrast, regulatory mechanisms of glial differentiation from neural crest-derived cells in the peripheral nervous system are less understood. However, recent studies suggest that, at least in part, the peripheral gliogenesis is regulated by mechanisms, such as Notch signaling, that are also important for the gliogenesis in the developing central nervous system.