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Ann Anat. 1993 Dec;175(6):501-7.

Mammalian neural crest and neural crest derivatives.


In the mammalian embryonic trunk, neural crest cells emigrate from the closed neural tube in a cranio-caudal sequences and appear to have similar migration pathways and derivatives to those of avian embryos. In the cranial region, however, there are mammalian-specific features, which are related to the mammalian-specific pattern of cranial neurulation. Midbrain and rostral hindbrain neural crest cells emigrate from widely open neural folds; caudal hindbrain crest emigrates in a caudo-rostral sequence, following the sequence of neural tube closure in this region. The forebrain is also a source of neural crest cells at early stages of neurulation; both forebrain and midbrain crest cells contribute to the frontonasal mesenchyme, although their relative contributions have not been analysed. Few studies have provided direct information about mammalian neural crest cell derivatives. Studies on the effects of retinoid excess on craniofacial development provide indirect evidence that mammalian cranial neural crest, like that of avian embryos, includes two populations whose differentiated phenotype and morphological tissue structure are determined prior to emigration. Retinoid-induced shortening of the preotic hindbrain leads to abnormal migration pathways of the neural crest cells that normally migrate into the mandibular arch to form Meckel's cartilage, so that an ectopic Meckel's cartilage-like structure forms in the maxillary region of the face. Slow descent of the heart in retinoid-exposed embryos enables the "wrong" crest cell population to populate the wall of the truncus arteriosus. These observations correlate well with observations of retinoid-induced craniofacial and heart abnormalities in human infants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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