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Restricted response of mesencephalic neural crest to sympathetic differentiation signals in the trunk

Lee, Vivian M. and Bronner-Fraser, Marianne and Baker, Clare V. H. (2005) Restricted response of mesencephalic neural crest to sympathetic differentiation signals in the trunk. Developmental Biology, 278 (1). pp. 175-192. ISSN 0012-1606. doi:10.1016/j.ydbio.2004.10.024.

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Lineage diversification in the vertebrate neural crest may occur via instructive signals acting on pluripotent cells, and/or via early specification of subpopulations towards particular lineages. Mesencephalic neural crest cells normally form cholinergic parasympathetic neurons in the ciliary ganglion, while trunk neural crest cells normally form both catecholaminergic and cholinergic neurons in sympathetic ganglia. In contrast to trunk neural crest cells, mesencephalic neural crest cells apparently fail to express the catecholaminergic transcription factor dHAND in response to BMPs in the head environment. Here, we show that migrating quail mesencephalic neural crest cells grafted into the trunk of host chick embryos colonise the sympathetic ganglia. While many express dHAND and form tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive catecholaminergic neurons, the proportion that expresses either dHAND or TH is significantly smaller than that of quail trunk neural crest cells under the same conditions. Furthermore, the proportion of quail mesencephalic neural crest cells that is TH^+ in the sympathetic ganglia decreases with time, while the proportion of TH^+ quail trunk neural crest-derived cells increases. Thus, a subset of mesencephalic neural crest cells fails to express dHAND or TH in the sympathetic ganglia, while a further subset initiates but fails to maintain TH expression. Taken together, our results suggest that a subpopulation of migrating mesencephalic neural crest cells is refractory to catecholaminergic differentiation signals in the trunk. We suggest that this heterogeneity, together with local signals that repress catecholaminergic differentiation, may ensure that most ciliary neurons adopt a cholinergic fate.

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Bronner-Fraser, Marianne0000-0003-4274-1862
Additional Information:© 2004 Elsevier Inc. Received for publication 25 September 2002, revised 24 September 2004, accepted 27 October 2004. Available online 21 November 2004. We gratefully acknowledge the advice and support of Dr. Marie-Aimeé Teillet for initial encouragement in these experiments and for comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. Thanks also to Dr. Andy Groves for comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. Thanks to Dr. Hermann Rohrer for the VAChT clone and to Dr. Jean-François Brunet for the Phox2a clone. Thanks to Matt Jones and Anitha Rao for help with sectioning. This work was supported by NS-041070-02 from the NIH (M.B.-F.), by American Heart Association Fellowships 1171-FI1, 0020097Y (C.V.H.B.), and 0225071Y (V.M.L.).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
American Heart Association1171-FI1
American Heart Association0020097Y
American Heart Association0225071Y
Subject Keywords:Mesencephalic neural crest; Cholinergic; Catecholaminergic; Quail-chick chimera; Ciliary ganglion; Sympathetic; Parasympathetic; dHAND; Tyrosine hydroxylase
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160121-103520714
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Official Citation:Vivian M. Lee, Marianne Bronner-Fraser, Clare V.H. Baker, Restricted response of mesencephalic neural crest to sympathetic differentiation signals in the trunk, Developmental Biology, Volume 278, Issue 1, 1 February 2005, Pages 175-192, ISSN 0012-1606, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:63840
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:21 Jan 2016 18:48
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 23:22

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