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Going Tubular in the Rostral Migratory Stream: Neurons Remodel Astrocyte Tubes to Promote Directional Migration in the Adult Brain

Neuroscience Center and the Department of Cell and Molecular Physiology, The University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.
Neuron (Impact Factor: 15.98). 07/2010; 67(2):173-5. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuron.2010.07.013
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Reciprocal interactions between migrating neurons and astroglia play influential roles in the guidance and placement of newly generated neurons in the cerebral cortex. During embryonic development, migrating neurons modulate the function of radial glial cells as neuronal migratory guides in the neocortex (Hatten, 1985 and Rakic, 2003). In contrast, in the adult brain, long distance neuronal migration is thought to occur in a glial-independent manner. In the rostral migratory stream (RMS), newly generated neurons from the subventricular zone migrate along each other as oriented chains toward their target locations in the olfactory bulb (Wichterle et al., 1997). During this process, neurons are encapsulated by a complex network of astrocyte tubes (Doetsch and Alvarez-Buylla, 1996 and Lois et al., 1996). The functional significance of these astroglial tubes, whether they merely act as barriers to prevent the dispersion of the young neuroblasts into the surrounding tissue or if they actively guide or orient the new neurons, has remained unclear.

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