Vertebrate Embryo: Patterning the Neural Crest Lineage

Neural crest (NC) cells form as epithelial progenitors during the process of neurulation, then undergo an epithelial‐to‐mesenchymal transition and become motile. As mesenchymal cells, they migrate through stereotypical pathways, reach their homing sites and differentiate into a large variety of derivatives that are specific and variable along the embryonic axis. These include neurons and glia of the sensory and autonomic nervous system, pigment cells, chromaffin cells of the adrenal gland and mesectoderm in the head region. Given that a few initial progenitors expand and diversify so substantially, the NC provides an excellent model to investigate fundamental questions in Developmental Biology, that is, defining the state of commitment of the different precursors throughout ontogeny, unravelling the nature of cellular interactions among adjacent crest cells and between crest progenitors and their environment, and elucidating the molecular basis of lineage segregation, cell migration and terminal differentiation.

Authors: Kalcheim, C
Year of publication: 2019
Journal: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences eLS

Link to publication:


“Working memory”