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Anat Rec. 1993 Nov;237(3):385-99.

Cardiac neural crest contribution to the pulmonary artery and sixth aortic arch artery complex in chick embryos aged 6 to 18 days.

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Department of Anatomy, Medical College of Georgia, Augusta 30912.


Previous studies of cardiac neural crest (CNC) migration in early chick embryos demonstrated CNC cells in the media of pharyngeal arch arteries three, four, and six, and in the most proximal part of the developing pulmonary arteries. The objectives of this study were to learn 1) to what extent the CNC is involved in the later development of the pulmonary arteries, 2) how the CNC cells are distributed in the sixth aortic arch artery including the wall of the ductus arteriosus in the older embryo, and 3) what happens to the CNC as the pulmonary artery/sixth arch complex grows into its adult configuration. Quail-to-chick chimeras were used to study CNC distribution in embryos aged 6 to 18 days. Controls (undisturbed chick embryos) were collected with chimeras. Each was fixed, processed, sectioned, stained with Feulgen-Rossenbeck stain, and analyzed. The results demonstrated that CNC disappeared from the proximal pulmonary arteries by embryonic day 9 and played no further role in pulmonary artery development. With the exception of the endothelium, CNC completely filled the wall of the sixth aortic arch artery as far distally as its junction with the dorsal aorta in younger embryos and with the aorta in older embryos, thus suggesting the possibility of proximodistal migration of CNC along the sixth aortic arch. The ductus wall, filled with CNC, was intimately associated with the recurrent laryngeal nerve, also filled with CNC, thereby strongly suggesting a role for CNC in ductal closure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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