Physiological relevance and functional potential of central nervous system-derived cell lines
- Cite this article as:
- Whittemore, S.R. & Snyder, E.Y. Mol Neurobiol (1996) 12: 13. doi:10.1007/BF02740745
Central nervous system (CNS)-derived neural cell lines have proven to be extremely useful for delineating mechanisms controlling such diverse phenomena as cell lineage choice and differentiation, synaptic maturation, neurotransmitter synthesis and release, and growth factor signalling. In addition, there has been hope that such lines might play pivotal roles in CNS gene therapy and repair. The ability of some neural cell lines to integrate normally into the CNS following transplantation and to express foreign, often corrective gene productsin situ might offer potential therapeutic approaches to certain neurodegenerative diseases. Five general strategies have evolved to develop neural cell lines: isolation and cloning of spontaneous or mutagenically induced malignancies, targeted oncogenesis in transgenic mice, somatic cell fusion, growth factor mediated expansion of CNS progenitor or stem cells, and retroviral transduction of neuroepithelial precursors. In this article, we detail recent progress in these areas, focusing on those cell lines that have enabled novel insight into the mechanisms controlling neuronal cell lineage choice and differentiation, both in vitro and in vivo.