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Neurogenic Astrocytes and Their Glycoconjugates: Not Just “Glue” Anymore

  • Dennis A. Steindler
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 814)

Abstract

Cells with certain attributes of very immature astroglial cells and their radial precursors can act as stem and/or progenitor cells during developmental and persistent neurogenesis. Neural stem/progenitor cells both express and are affected by a variety of developmentally regulated macromolecules and growth factors, and such signaling or recognition molecules are being uncovered through extensive genomic and proteomic studies, as well as tested using in vitro/in vivo cell growth bioassays. Glycosylated molecules are appreciated as distinct signaling molecules during morphogenesis in a variety of tissues and organs, with glycoconjugates (glycoproteins, glycolipids, and glycosaminoglycans) serving as mediators for the interactions of cells with each other and their substrates, to confer growth and differentiation cues to precursor cells in search of identity. Neurogenic astrocytes and associated glycoconjugates, especially extracellular matrix molecules, are discussed in the context of neurogenesis and stem/progenitor cell growth, fate choice, and differentiation.

Key words

Astrocyte Stem cell Extracellular matrix Multipotent astrocytic stem cell Adult human neural progenitor cell 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The author would like to thank Dr. Bjorn Scheffler for many discussions on and help with this topic, and Drs. Tong Zheng, Florian Siebzehnrubl, Oleg Suslov, Shanshan Wang, and Daniel Silver for also collaborating on all aspects of the cell and molecular biology of neural stem/progenitor cells. DAS’s research is supported by NIH grant NS055165.

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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Neuroscience, The Evelyn F. and William L. McKnight Brain InstituteThe University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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