Multipotentiality of the neural crest

Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2003 Oct;13(5):529-36. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2003.08.002.


Multiple neural and non-neural cell types arise from the neural crest (NC) in vertebrate embryos. Recent work has provided evidence for multipotent stem cells and intermediate precursors in the early NC cell population as well as in various NC derivatives in embryos and even in adult. Advances have been made towards understanding how cytokines, regulatory genes and cell-cell interactions cooperate to control commitment and differentiation to pigment cells, glia and neurone subtypes. In addition, NC cell fates appeared to be unstable, as differentiated NC cells can reverse to multipotent precursors and transdifferentiate in vitro.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autonomic Pathways / embryology
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology*
  • Endothelin-3 / physiology
  • Ganglia / embryology
  • Growth Substances / physiology
  • Humans
  • Neural Crest / embryology*
  • Neurons, Afferent / physiology
  • Phenotype


  • Endothelin-3
  • Growth Substances