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Glial enriched gene expression profiling identifies novel factors regulating the proliferation of specific glial subtypes in the Drosophila brain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-68
Number of pages8
JournalGene Expression Patterns
Issue number1
Early online date10 Sep 2014
Accepted/In press4 Sep 2014
E-pub ahead of print10 Sep 2014
PublishedSep 2014

King's Authors


Glial cells constitute a large proportion of the central nervous system (CNS) and are critical for the correct development and function of the adult CNS. Recent studies have shown that specific subtypes of glia are generated through the proliferation of differentiated glial cells in both the developing invertebrate and vertebrate nervous systems. However, the factors that regulate glial proliferation in specific glial subtypes are poorly understood. To address this we have performed global gene expression analysis of Drosophila post-embryonic CNS tissue enriched in glial cells, through glial specific overexpression of either the FGF or insulin receptor. Analysis of the differentially regulated genes in these tissues shows that the expression of known glial genes is significantly increased in both cases. Conversely, the expression of neuronal genes is significantly decreased. FGF and insulin signalling drive the expression of overlapping sets of genes in glial cells that then activate proliferation. We then used these data to identify novel transcription factors that are expressed in glia in the brain. We show that two of the transcription factors identified in the glial enriched gene expression profiles, foxO and tramtrack69, have novel roles in regulating the proliferation of cortex and perineurial glia. These studies provide new insight into the genes and molecular pathways that regulate the proliferation of specific glial subtypes in the Drosophila post-embryonic brain.

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