Neural stem cells go through a sequence of timely regulated gene expression and pattern of division mode to generate diverse neurons during brain development. During vertebrate cerebral cortex development, neural stem cells begin with proliferative symmetric divisions, subsequently undergo neurogenic asymmetric divisions, and finally gliogenic divisions. In this review, we explore the relationship between stem cell versus neural fate specification and the division mode. Specifically, we discuss recent findings on the mechanisms of asymmetric divisions, division mode, and developmental progression of neural progenitor identity.
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