Neural Crest Induction and Differentiation

Volume 589 of the series Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology pp 45-77

Neural Crest Delamination and Migration

Integrating Regulations of Cell Interactions, Locomotion, Survival and Fate
  • Jean-Loup DubandAffiliated withLaboratoire de Biologie du Développement Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université Pierre

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During the entire process of neural crest development from specification till final differentiation, delamination and migration are critical steps where nascent crest cells face multiple challenges: within a relatively short period of time that does not exceed several hours, they have to change drastically their cell- and substrate-adhesion properties, lose cell polarity and activate the locomotory machinery, while keeping proliferating, surviving and maintaining a pool of precursors in the neural epithelium. Then, as soon as they are released from the neural tube, neural crest cells have to adapt to a new, rapidly-changing environment and become able to interpret multiple cues which guide them to appropriate target sites and prevent them from distributing in aberrant locations. It appears from recent studies that, behind an apparent linearity and unity, neural crest development is subdivided into several independent steps, each being governed by a multiplicity of rules and referees. Here resides probably one of the main reasons of the success of neural crest cells to accomplish their task.