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The functioning of glia and neurodegeneration in Drosophila melanogaster
SUMMARY. A view at the importance of glial tissue has undergone major changes during the years of research. Regarded as «brain cellular glue» at the beginning, it becomes recognized as one of great importance for development and support of the brain. Glial cells are responsible for many critical processes in the nervous system, among them: navigation signaling for axon growth, electrical insulation of neurons, boundaries formation between brain and hemolymph, control of extracellular homeostasis and physiological brain functioning. To clarify many molecular aspects of neurodegeneration, modern science increasingly drawn to D. melanogaster as a useful model, as it has a number of advantages. Drosophila neurodegenerative mutant swiss cheese (sws) shows degeneration of the neurons and ensheathing glia of the optic lobes and SWS protein is important for maintenance functionality and integrity of the fly brain. In this review, we focus on the importance of glial cells for development and function of the adult insect brain, and on the characterization of the sws gene and it expression in neuronal and glial cells.
Tsitologiya i Genetika 2017, vol. 51, no. 3, pp. 66-78
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