, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 191-203

Demonstration of the neural crest origin of type I (APUD) cells in the avian carotid body, using a cytochemical marker system

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The biogenic amines present in the carotid body Type 1 cells of two avian species (Japanese quail and chicken) were identified, by microspectrofluorometry of formaldehyde-induced fluorescence, as dopamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine respectively. These and other cytochemical properties establish the cells as members of the APUD series.

Grafts of the neural rhombencephalic primordium from 6 to 10-somite quail embryos were implanted in the appropriate region of chick embryos of the same age. After up to 11 days incubation the carotid bodies of the host were freeze-dried and treated with hot formaldehyde vapour. The carotid body Type 1 cells in the chick host were identified, by the presence of dopamine and the absence of 5-HT, as cells from the quail neural crest.

The dopamine phenotype in cells of quail origin thus provides a cytochemical marker which may be used for other allograft experiments. The present work confirms earlier findings, using a biological (nuclear chromatin) marker, which showed the avian carotid body to be of neural crest origin.