Slit/Robo signaling is necessary to confine early neural crest cells to the ventral migratory pathway in the trunk

Dev Biol. 2005 Jun 15;282(2):411-21. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2005.03.021.


Neural crest cells migrate along two discrete pathways within the trunk of developing embryos. In the chick, early migrating crest cells are confined to a ventral pathway medial to the dermamyotome while later cells migrate on a dorsal pathway lateral to the dermamyotome. Here we show that Slits are expressed in the dermamyotome, that early migrating crest cells express the Slit receptors Robo 1 and Robo 2, that Slit2 repels migrating crest cells in an in vitro assay, and that the misexpression of a dominant-negative Robo1 receptor induces a significant fraction of early crest cells to migrate ectopically in the dorso-lateral pathway. These findings suggest that Slits, most likely those expressed in the dermamyotome, help to confine the migration of early crest cells to the ventral pathway.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Chick Embryo
  • DNA Primers
  • Drosophila Proteins / metabolism*
  • Electroporation
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / embryology*
  • Gene Expression
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neural Crest / physiology*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Protein Isoforms / metabolism
  • Receptors, Immunologic / metabolism*
  • Retina / cytology
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • DNA Primers
  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Protein Isoforms
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • roundabout protein
  • sli protein, Drosophila