, Volume 68, Issue 1, pp 55-69
Date: 04 Sep 2010

Comparing peripheral glial cell differentiation in Drosophila and vertebrates

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In all complex organisms, the peripheral nerves ensure the portage of information from the periphery to central computing and back again. Axons are in part amazingly long and are accompanied by several different glial cell types. These peripheral glial cells ensure electrical conductance, most likely nuture the long axon, and establish and maintain a barrier towards extracellular body fluids. Recent work has revealed a surprisingly similar organization of peripheral nerves of vertebrates and Drosophila. Thus, the genetic dissection of glial differentiation in Drosophila may also advance our understanding of basic principles underlying the development of peripheral nerves in vertebrates.