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Regulators of Cerebellar Granule Cell Development Act Through Specific Signaling Pathways

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Science  06 Jun 2003:
Vol. 300, Issue 5625, pp. 1532-1534
DOI: 10.1126/science.1085260

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The proper development of the central nervous system depends upon a finely tuned balance between cell proliferation and programmed cell death (PCD). Although PCD was initially believed to depend solely on the inability of certain neurons to obtain access to a limited supply of trophic factors, it has become apparent that the local production of death signals is also critical. In this Viewpoint, we discuss several pathways implicated in the survival of cerebellar granule cells— both pathways that protect from apoptosis and pathways that promote apoptosis—and describe how these disparate pathways converge on the final common mediators of PCD. Information on other important pathways implicated in granule cell survival may be found in the Connections Maps.

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