The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 42: 127 - 139 (1998)

Vol 42, Issue 2

Cell-cell signaling during neurogenesis: some answers and many questions

Published: 30 November -0001

K M Bhat

Department of Cell Biology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


Development of a multicellular organism requires that cells communicate with each other in order to regulate their growth, organize into tissues and coordinate their function. This cell-cell communication is mediated by signals cells receive (or send) between each other and from the environment. The signaling can be a short range remote signaling (through secreted signaling molecules), contact signaling (via plasma membrane bound molecules, gap junctions) or a long range signaling (through hormones). In this article, I have reviewed the recent advances on the role of cell-cell signaling in the development of the embryonic nervous system of the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster and discussed some of the open questions raised by these studies. It discusses the contributions of the neurogenic genes Notch and Delta and the signaling pathways controlled by wingless, patched and hedgehog in neuroblast formation, neuroblast identity specification and neuroblast lineage elaboration.

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