F-Spondin, expressed in somite regions avoided by neural crest cells, mediates inhibition of distinct somite domains to neural crest migration

Neuron. 1999 Mar;22(3):475-88. doi: 10.1016/s0896-6273(00)80703-5.


Neural crest (NC) cells migrate exclusively into the rostral half of each sclerotome, where they avoid the dermomyotome and the paranotochordal sclerotome. F-spondin is expressed in these inhibitory regions and throughout the caudal halves. In vitro bioassays of NC spreading on substrates of rostral or caudal epithelial-half somites (RS or CS, respectively) revealed that NC cells adopt on RS a fibroblastic morphology, whereas on CS they fail to flatten. F-spondin inhibited flattening of NC cells on RS. Conversely, F-spondin antibodies prevented rounding up of NC cells on CS. Addition of F-spondin to trunk explants inhibited NC migration into the sclerotome, and treatment of embryos with anti-F-spondin antibodies yielded migration into otherwise inhibitory sites. Thus, somite-derived F-spondin is an inhibitory signal involved in patterning the segmental migration of NC cells and their topographical segregation within the RS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chick Embryo
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Growth Substances*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Microinjections
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules / biosynthesis
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules / genetics
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules / physiology*
  • Neural Crest / cytology*
  • Neural Crest / embryology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Peptides*
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Somites / metabolism*


  • Growth Substances
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • Peptides
  • RNA, Messenger

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF149302