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Int J Dev Biol. 2005;49(2-3):161-71.

Neural crest derivatives in ocular and periocular structures.

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Institut d'Embryologie Cellulaire et Mol├Ęculaire du CNRS et du Collge de France, UMR 7128, Nogent-sur-Marne cedex, France.


In vertebrates, the eye is an ectodermal compound structure associating neurectodermal and placodal anlagen. In addition, it benefits early on from a mesenchymal ectoderm-derived component, the neural crest. In this respect, the construction of chimeras between quail and chick has been a turning point, instrumental in appraising the contribution of the cephalic neural crest to the development of ocular and periocular structures. Given the variety of crest derivatives underscored in the developing eye, this study illustrates the fascinating ability of this unique structure to finely adapt its differentiation to microenvironmental cues. This analysis of neural crest cell contribution to ocular development emphasizes their paramount role to design the anterior segment of the eye, supply refracting media and contribute to the homeostasy of the anterior optic chamber.

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