Neural stem cells: From fly to vertebrates

Chris Q. Doe*, Sal Fuerstenberg, Chian Yu Peng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Our goal in this review is to explore the relationship between Drosophila and vertebrate neural stem cell development by comparing progress in each system with the aim of answering several central questions in stem cell biology: (a) How are stem cells formed? (b) Do stem cells divide symmetrically or asymmetrically? (c) How is stem cell fate maintained? (d) How is stem cell differentiation initiated? (e) How are different stem cell fates determined? (f) How 'plastic' are different neural stem cell fates? (g) How do neural stem cells produce different progeny? and (h) What regulates stem cell proliferation versus quiescence? Not surprisingly, research in Drosophila and vertebrate systems each have their own biases, strengths, and weaknesses; we hope that by directly comparing progress in each field, new experiments and interpretations in both vertebrate and Drosophila research will become apparent. It has become increasingly clear that vertebrates and Drosophila share many fundamental mechanisms of neurogenesis, validating a comparative approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-127
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Neurobiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998


  • Asymmetric division
  • Inscuteable
  • Miranda
  • Neuroblast
  • Prospero

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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