The early migration of neural crest cells in the trunk region of the avian embryo: An electron microscopic study

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150 Scopus citations

Abstract

Four phases of neural crest migration characteristic of early avian trunk regions are described: (a) appearance, during which crest cells reside in the dorsal neural tube, but are separated from each other dorsally by large spaces; (b) condensation, during which large spaces between the crest cells become reduced, the cells elongate, flatten upon the surface of the neural tube, and become oriented tangentially (i.e., with their long axes perpendicular to the longitudinal axes of the neural tube); (c) early migration, during which the crest population expands uniformly to meet the dorsal apex of the somites; and (d) advanced migration, during which crest cells appear in the extracellular space dorsal to the somites. At the most advanced phases, the crest population at the dorsal midline decreased in number, with a concomitant loss of tangential orientation and the appearance of spaces between the cells. Extracellular components of the acellular spaces through which crest cells migrate are also described. The observations are discussed in terms of (1) those morphological changes undergone by crest cells during migration, and (2) possible factors that might delimit crest pathways. It is suggested that the operation of contact inhibition of movement within the crest population is sufficient to determine the direction of crest migration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-333
Number of pages17
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Volume62
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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