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Evidence for dynamic rearrangements but lack of fate or position restrictions in premigratory avian trunk neural crest

McKinney, M.C., Fukatsu, K., Morrison, J., McLennan, R., Bronner, M.E., Kulesa, P.M.

Neural crest (NC) cells emerge from the dorsal trunk neural tube (NT) and migrate ventrally to colonize neuronal derivatives, as well as dorsolaterally to form melanocytes. Here, we test whether different dorsoventral levels in the NT have similar or differential ability to contribute to NC cells and their derivatives. To this end, we precisely labeled NT precursors at specific dorsoventral levels of the chick NT using fluorescent dyes and a photoconvertible fluorescent protein. NT and NC cell dynamics were then examined in vivo and in slice culture using two-photon and confocal time-lapse imaging. The results show that NC precursors undergo dynamic rearrangements within the neuroepithelium, yielding an overall ventral to dorsal movement toward the midline of the NT, where they exit in a stochastic manner to populate multiple derivatives. No differences were noted in the ability of precursors from different dorsoventral levels of the NT to contribute to NC derivatives, with the exception of sympathetic ganglia, which appeared to be ‘filled’ by the first population to emigrate. Rather than restricted developmental potential, however, this is probably due to a matter of timing.

Citation

McKinney, M.C., Fukatsu, K., Morrison, J., McLennan, R., Bronner, M.E., Kulesa, P.M. "Evidence for dynamic rearrangements but lack of fate or position restrictions in premigratory avian trunk neural crest" Development (2013): 820–30