Radial glial cells, also called Bergman glia, are a pivotal cell type in the developing CNS involved in key developmental processes, ranging from patterning and neuronal migration to their newly described role as precursors during neurogenesis. The term 'radial glial cell' refers to their two major characteristics, their long radial processes extending from the ventricular zone (VZ) to the pial surface and their glial properties, such as the content of glycogen granules or the expression of the astrocyte-specific glutamate transporter or the glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Notably, recent evidence demonstrates that radial glial cells characterized by long radial processes and astroglial properties constitute the majority of precursors during neurogenesis. Indeed, all radial glial cells divide throughout neurogenesis and give rise to the majority of projection neurons in the cerebral cortex.
Hartfuss E, Forster E, Bock HH, Hack MA, Leprince P, Luque JM, Herz J, Frotscher M, Gotz M. (2003) Reelin signaling directly affects radial glia morphology and biochemical maturation. Development 130(19):4597-609. PMID 12925587