The origins of neural crest cells in the axolotl

Dev Biol. 1990 Oct;141(2):243-53. doi: 10.1016/0012-1606(90)90380-2.


We address the question of whether neural crest cells originate from the neural plate, from the epidermis, or from both of these tissues. Our past studies revealed that a neural fold and neural crest cells could arise at any boundary created between epidermis and neural plate. To examine further the formation of neural crest cells at newly created boundaries in embryos of a urodele (Ambystoma mexicanum), we replace a portion of the neural folds of an albino host with either epidermis or neural plate from a normally pigmented donor. We then look for cells that contain pigment granules in the neural crest and its derivatives in intact and sectioned host embryos. By tracing cells in this manner, we find that cells from neural plate transplants give rise to melanocytes and (in one case) become part of a spinal ganglion, and we find that epidermal transplants contribute cells to the spinal and cranial ganglia. Thus neural crest cells arise from both the neural plate and the epidermis. These results also indicate that neural crest induction is (at least partially) governed by local reciprocal interactions between epidermis and neural plate at their common boundary.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Ambystoma / embryology*
  • Animals
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / physiology
  • Melanocytes / cytology
  • Models, Biological
  • Neural Crest / cytology*
  • Neural Crest / physiology