Much of the interest in the neural crest over the past three decades was prompted by the knowledge that many craniofacial defects and inherited conditions in humans involve tissues known to be of neural crest origin in nonmammalian vertebrates. Defects involving pigment cells (albinism), the craniofacial skeleton (cleft lip and palate, asymmetrical facial growth, first arch syndromes), adrenal glands (medullary carcinoma), or sympathetic neurons of spinal ganglia (neuro-blastomas) come into this category. Indeed, so linked are embryos, defects, and the genetics underlying defects that Pierce titled his 1985 paper on the topic, “Carcinoma is to embryology as mutation is to genetics.”1


Neural Crest Neural Crest Cell Enamel Organ Dental Papilla Avian Embryo 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian K. Hall
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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