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J Embryol Exp Morphol. 1980 Feb;55:17-31.

Translocation of neural crest cells within a hydrated collagen lattice.


Chick neural tubes were cultured either on planar substrata of collagen-coated Falcon plastic in growth medium with serum or within a hydrated collagen lattice (HCL) in growth medium either with or without serum. Using time-lapse cinemicrography, neural crest cells were observed emigrating from neural tubes over the collagen substrata. Once separated from the neural tube, they seldom reunite with it. Though the average rate at which the neural crest cells translocate was the same in the different culture conditions, approximately 1.0 micron/min, distinct differences in morphology and mode of translocation were observed. Neural crest cells on collagen-coated culture dishes have a flattened fibroblastic morphology and mode of translocation; in an HCl with serum, they have a bipolar shape and translocate by advancing a long, narrow leading protrusion and by periodically retracting the attenuated trailing portion of the cell; and in a serum-free HCL, they have a unipolar shape and translocate by advancing a long, narrow, branched leading protrusion and by periodically transferring the cytoplasm of the large, rounded trailing cell body forward, past a bulbous structure, and into the leading protrusion.

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