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Nodose placode provides ectomesenchyme to the developing chick heart in the absence of cardiac neural crest

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The cardiac neural crest provides both ectomesenchyme and parasympathetic postganglionic neurons to the developing heart. Ablation of cardiac neural crest results in persistent truncus arteriosus, a condition in which the conotruncal and aorticopulmonary septa do not form in the developing heart. Parasympathetic postganglionic neurons are abundantly present in hearts with persistent truncus arteriosus, which indicates a “regeneration” of the neural component of the cardiac neural crest without comparable restitution of the ectomesenchymal component. The neural component has been shown to be provided by cells from the nodose placode following ablation of the cardiac neural crest. This investigation has shown that ectomesenchymal cells are also supplied to a limited extent by the nodose placode which normally has no ectomesenchymal derivatives. Although placode-derived ectomesenchyme helps to strengthen the wall of the cardiac outflow vessel, it is not competent to induce conotruncal and aorticopulmonary septal closure.

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Correspondence to Dr. Margaret L. Kirby.

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Kirby, M.L. Nodose placode provides ectomesenchyme to the developing chick heart in the absence of cardiac neural crest. Cell Tissue Res. 252, 17–22 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00213821

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Key words

  • Cardiac neural crest
  • Nodose placode
  • Developing heart
  • Ectomesenchyme
  • Conotruncal malformations
  • Chicken