Origins, Development, and Compartmentation of the Granule Cells of the Cerebellum

G. Giacomo Consalez, Daniel Goldowitz, Filippo Casoni, Richard Hawkes

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Granule cells (GCs) are the most numerous cell type in the cerebellum and indeed, in the brain: at least 99% of all cerebellar neurons are granule cells. In this review article, we first consider the formation of the upper rhombic lip, from which all granule cell precursors arise, and the way by which the upper rhombic lip generates the external granular layer, a secondary germinal epithelium that serves to amplify the upper rhombic lip precursors. Next, we review the mechanisms by which postmitotic granule cells are generated in the external granular layer and migrate radially to settle in the granular layer. In addition, we review the evidence that far from being a homogeneous population, granule cells come in multiple phenotypes with distinct topographical distributions and consider ways in which the heterogeneity of granule cells might arise during development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number611841
JournalFrontiers in Neural Circuits
Publication statusPublished - Jan 15 2021


  • Bergmann glial fibers
  • cerebellum
  • compartmentation
  • external granular layer
  • granule cell
  • radial migration
  • upper rhombic lip

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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