Clearing Your Mind: Mechanisms of Debris Clearance After Cell Death During Neural Development

Kendra E. Liu, Michael H. Raymond, Kodi S. Ravichandran, Sarah Kucenas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Neurodevelopment and efferocytosis have fascinated scientists for decades. How an organism builds a nervous system that is precisely tuned for efficient behaviors and survival and how it simultaneously manages constant somatic cell turnover are complex questions that have resulted in distinct fields of study. Although neurodevelopment requires the overproduction of cells that are subsequently pruned back, very few studies marry these fields to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms that drive nervous system development through the lens of cell clearance. In this review, we discuss these fields to highlight exciting areas of future synergy. We first review neurodevelopment from the perspective of overproduction and subsequent refinement and then discuss who clears this developmental debris and the mechanisms that control these events. We then end with how a more deliberate merger ofneurodevelopment and efferocytosis could reframe our understanding of homeostasis and disease and discuss areas of future study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-198
Number of pages22
JournalAnnual Review of Neuroscience
StatePublished - Jul 2022


  • apoptosis
  • efferocytosis
  • neurodevelopment
  • phagocytes


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