Isolation of radial glial cells by fluorescent-activated cell sorting reveals a neural lineage

P. Malatesta, E. Hartfuss, M. Götz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The developing central nervous system of vertebrates contains an abundant cell type designated radial glial cells. These cells are known as guiding cables for migrating neurons, while their role as precursor cells is less clear. Since radial glial cells express a variety of astroglial characteristics and differentiate as astrocytes after completing their guidance function, they have been considered as part of the glial lineage. Using fluorescence-activated cell sorting, we show here that radial glial cells also are neuronal precursors and only later, after neurogenesis, do they shift towards an exclusive generation of astrocytes. These results thus demonstrate a novel function for radial glial cells, namely their ability to generate two major cell types found in the nervous system, neurons and astrocytes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5253-5263
Number of pages11
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Cerebral cortex
  • Clonal analysis
  • GFP
  • Glial precursors
  • Glutamate astrocyte-specific transporter (GLAST)
  • Human GFAP-promoter
  • Neuronal precursors
  • Radial glial cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Cell Biology


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