Radial glia are a polarized cell type that in most neural regions appear only transiently during development. They have long been recognized as glia or glial progenitors that support neuronal migration. Recent evidence indicates that radial glia also give rise to neurons and appear to be a major population of dividing precursor cells in the embryonic cortical ventricular zone. Radial glia extend long processes from the ventricular zone to the pial surface that provide guides for neuronal migration. We reasoned that the unique morphology of radial glia is due to the composition and organization of their cytoskeleton. In this present study, we have used C6-R, a radial glial-like cell line and isolated perinatal cerebellar radial glia to ask what are the critical cytoskeletal elements in radial glial cells and how they are regulated. Treatments with nocodazole and cytochalasin D showed that microtubules, but not microfilaments, are critical for the polarized morphology of radial glia. In addition, quantitative real-time PCR indicated that certain mRNAs specific for microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs) are selectively expressed in radial glia. These results together with the known ability of microtubule affinity-regulating kinases to regulate microtubule organization suggest that microtubules and MAPs are critical for the morphology of radial glia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience