A Synoptic View of the Development of the Vertebrate Central Nervous System

  • W. M. Cowan
Part of the Dahlem Workshop Reports book series (DAHLEM, volume 24)


The rationale for a position paper on neural development at a conference devoted to “Repair and Regeneration of the Nervous System” is presumably to be found in the widely held, but as yet largely unsubstantiated, view that neural regeneration must recapitulate some, if not all, of the events in neurogenesis. But, in fact, if one excludes regeneration of portions of the neural plate or neural tube, which may lead to essentially complete restoration of the damaged tissue (6), what is usually implied by the terms “regeneration” and “repair” in the central nervous system relates to only two of the many events in neural development, namely, the formation and remodeling of neural connections (and to a lesser extent, to the proliferation, growth, and redeployment of glial cells). However, despite its possibly limited relevance, there is some merit in presenting a synoptic view of the entire sequence of vertebrate neurogenesis, if only to highlight the rather painful fact that the ultimate goal of promoting regeneration and reconstitution of damaged neural tissue remains a very distant prospect.


Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein Neural Tube Neural Development Subventricular Zone Ventricular Zone 
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Copyright information

© Dr. S. Bernhard, Dahlem Konferenzen, Berlin 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. M. Cowan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.The Salk Institute for Biological StudiesLa JollaUSA
  2. 2.The Clayton Foundation for ResearchLa JollaUSA

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