Signalling gradients

A signalling gradient is a progressive increase or decrease in the levels of a signalling molecule across a tissue or cell, usually arising as a result of the diffusion of soluble signalling molecules from their sources. Gradients of signalling molecules are involved in processes including tissue patterning, chemotaxis and axon guidance

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    During cortical development, the generation of neurons from progenitors coincides with increasing vascularization and oxygen levels in the fetal brain and the transition from anaerobic to aerobic metabolism. Dong et al. identify lactate, a metabolite of anaerobic glycolysis, as a multifunctional regulator that coordinates synchrony of cortical neurogenesis and angiogenesis.

    • Daniel Z. Doyle
    •  & Kenneth Y. Kwan
    Nature Neuroscience 25, 839-840