Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Biol. 2002 Apr 30;12(9):767-71.

Trunk neural crest has skeletogenic potential.

Author information

MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, Fourth Floor New Hunts House, Guys Campus, Kings College London, London SE1 1UL, UK.


During early vertebrate development, neural crest cells emerge from the dorsal neural tube, migrate into the periphery, and form a wide range of derivatives. There is, however, a significant difference between the cranial and trunk neural crest with respect to the diversity of cell types that each normally produces. Thus, while crest cells from all axial levels form neurons, glia, and melanocytes, the cranial crest additionally generates skeletal derivatives such as bone and cartilage; trunk crest cells are generally thought to lack skeletogenic potential. Here, we show, however, that if avian trunk neural crest cells are cultured in appropriate media, they form both bone and cartilage cells, and if placed into the developing head, they contribute to cranial skeletal components. Thus, the neural crest from all axial levels can generate the full repertoire of crest derivatives. The skeletogenic potential of the trunk neural crest is significant, as it was likely realized in early vertebrates, which had extensive postcranial exoskeletal coverings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center