Cell Interactions in the Morphogenesis of the Neural Crest
The neural crest of vertebrate embryos is formed by epithelial cells lying between the neural plate ectoderm and the more lateral epidermal ectoderm. As the neural plate folds to form the neural tube, the neural crest is brought to a dorso-medial position. At around this stage the neural crest population starts to transform from an epithelium to mesenchyme. These mesenchymal cells then disperse, initially into adjacent spaces filled with extracellular matrix (ECM). In the following stages, the cells of this lineage localize at discrete, often distant sites where overt differentiation takes place (see Le Douarin 1982). The orderly execution of this complex pattern of morphogenesis clearly rests on an interaction of these cell with their cellular and non-cellular environment. Some of the interactions that control the development of this system are discussed below, using the avian embryo as a model.
KeywordsNeural Crest Neural Crest Cell Crest Cell Neural Plate Orderly Execution
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