Send to

Choose Destination
Dev Biol. 2009 Sep 1;333(1):161-72. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2009.06.031. Epub 2009 Jul 1.

A role for chemokine signaling in neural crest cell migration and craniofacial development.

Author information

Department of Craniofacial Biology, University of Colorado Denver School of Dental Medicine, Aurora, CO 80045, USA.


Neural crest cells (NCCs) are a unique population of multipotent cells that migrate along defined pathways throughout the embryo and give rise to many diverse cell types including pigment cells, craniofacial cartilage and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). Aberrant migration of NCCs results in a wide variety of congenital birth defects including craniofacial abnormalities. The chemokine Sdf1 and its receptors, Cxcr4 and Cxcr7, have been identified as key components in the regulation of cell migration in a variety of tissues. Here we describe a novel role for the zebrafish chemokine receptor Cxcr4a in the development and migration of cranial NCCs (CNCCs). We find that loss of Cxcr4a, but not Cxcr7b, results in aberrant CNCC migration defects in the neurocranium, as well as cranial ganglia dysmorphogenesis. Moreover, overexpression of either Sdf1b or Cxcr4a causes aberrant CNCC migration and results in ectopic craniofacial cartilages. We propose a model in which Sdf1b signaling from the pharyngeal arch endoderm and optic stalk to Cxcr4a expressing CNCCs is important for both the proper condensation of the CNCCs into pharyngeal arches and the subsequent patterning and morphogenesis of the neural crest derived tissues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center