Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int J Dev Biol. 2005;49(2-3):151-9.

The instability of the neural crest phenotypes: Schwann cells can differentiate into myofibroblasts.

Author information

  • 1Laboratoire d'Embryologie Cellulaire et Mol├Ęculaire, CNRS UMR 7128, Nogent-sur-Marne, France.

Abstract

In the vertebrate embryo, the neural crest cells (NCCs) that migrate out from the neural primordium yield multiple phenotypes, including melanocytes, peripheral neurones and glia and, in the head, cartilage, bone, connective cells and myofibroblasts / vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs). The differentiation of pluripotent NCCs is mainly directed by local growth factors. Even at postmigratory stages, NC-derived cells exhibit some fate plasticity. Thus, we reported earlier that pigment cells and Schwann cells are able in vitro to interconvert in the presence of endothelin 3 (ET3). Here, we further investigated the capacity of Schwann cells to reprogram their phenotype. We show that purified quail Schwann cells in dissociated cultures produce alpha smooth muscle actin ((alpha)SMA)-expressing myofibroblasts through the generation of a pluripotent progeny. This transdifferentiation took place independently of ET3, but was promoted by transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF(beta)1). Moreover, when implanted into chick embryos, the Schwann cells were found to contribute with host cephalic NCCs to perivascular SMCs. These data provided the first evidence for the acquisition of an NC-derived mesenchymal fate by Schwann cells and further demonstrate that the differentiation state of NC-derived cells is unstable and capable of reprogramming. The high plasticity of Schwann cells evidenced here also suggests that, as in the CNS, glial cells of the PNS may function as NC stem cells in particular circumstances such as repair.

PMID:
15906228
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for The International Journal of Developmental Biology
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk