Elimination of unwanted and potentially harmful matter is crucial for nervous system development and function. Glia are the main cleaners of the CNS that perform their function through engulfment and degradation of dying neurons and degenerating neuronal branches, developing excessive axons and synapses. Recent studies in Drosophila melanogaster have enhanced significantly our understanding of the phagocytic functions of glia and demonstrated that Drosophila provides an excellent model for investigating the molecular and cellular basis of glial phagocytosis. The current knowledge and great potential of this model, which is reviewed here, can open new directions in mammalian glial biology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience