Glial cell migration in the eye disc.

J Neurosci.
November 2007
Silies M
Yuva Y
Engelen D
Aho A
Stork T
Klämbt C

Any complex nervous system is made out of two major cell types, neurons and glial cells. A hallmark of glial cells is their pronounced ability to migrate. En route to their final destinations, glial cells are generally guided by neuronal signals. Here we show that in the developing visual system of Drosophila glial cell migration is largely controlled by glial-glial interactions and occurs independently of axonal contact. Differentiation into wrapping glia is initiated close to the morphogenetic furrow. Using single cell labeling experiments we identified six distinct glial cell types in the eye disc. The migratory glial population is separated from the wrapping glial cells by the so-called carpet cells, extraordinary large glial cells, each covering a surface area of approximately 10,000 epithelial cells. Subsequent cell ablation experiments demonstrate that the carpet glia regulates glial migration in the eye disc epithelium and suggest a new model underlying glial migration and differentiation in the developing visual system.