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Biomedical Reviews

Control of granule cell precursor proliferation in the developing cerebellum and in medulloblastoma

Katsuji Yoshioka


The cerebellum is essential for the motor control of movement and posture. Due to its apparent simplicity and geometrical arrangement, the cerebellum provides an excellent model for studying the mechanisms that control development of the central nervous system (CNS). The cerebellar cortex is formed from two distinct proliferative zones: one ventricular and one superficial called the external granule layer (EGL). Massive clonal expansion of granule cell precursors (GCPs) occur in the EGL, and ultimately generates by far the most abundant neuronal population in the CNS. In this review, I describe recent advances in understanding the control of GCP proliferation in the developing cerebellum. I also briefty review the uncontrolled GCP proliferation associated with medulloblastoma, the most common brain malignancy in children.

Biomedical Reviews 2005; 16: 35-41.

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Katsuji Yoshioka
Kanazawa University

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