Transdifferentiation or direct reprogramming of somatic cells into neural lineage cells has provided an invaluable new tool to advance the regenerative neural medicine. Here, we provide an overview of the various strategies currently available for producing of induced neural lineage cells in vitro as well as the direct reprogramming of neural cells in vivo. We also discussing some of the challenges faced in harnessing the potential of induced neural lineage cells for biomedical applications. J. Cell. Physiol. 229: 728–742, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.