The purpose of this work is to review the changes that take place in the microtubule associated protein tau during neuronal development, aging and neurodegeneration. Human tau protein is expressed from a single gene located on chromosome 17. The DNA is transcribed into nuclear RNA and this RNA, by alternative splicing, yields different mRNA species which are developmentally regulated. In aging, or in neurodegenerative disorders, post translational modifications of tau, such as phosphorylation, could take place, and new tau isoforms may appear. Thus, tau isoforms can be used as markers to follow neuronal development, aging or neurodegeneration.