Pathways of avian neural crest cell migration in the developing gut

Dev Biol. 1986 Aug;116(2):439-50. doi: 10.1016/0012-1606(86)90145-4.


The NC-1 and E/C8 monoclonal antibodies recognize a similar population of neural crest cells as they migrate from vagal levels of the neural tube and colonize the branchial arch region of 2- to 3-day-old chicken embryos. Some of these immunoreactive cells then appear to enter the gut mesenchyme on the third day of incubation just caudal to the third branchial cleft. After entering the gut, these cells migrate in a rostral-caudal direction, using primarily the superficial splanchnic mesodermal epithelium of the gut as a substratum. The antigen-positive cells remain preferentially associated with the splanchnopleure. Few antigenic cells enter the mesenchyme surrounding the endoderm at anterior levels whereas they are found throughout the mesenchyme when nearing the umbilicus. At postumbilical levels, immunoreactive cells are distributed on both sides of the differentiating muscle layer but not within it. Although fibronectin immunoreactivity can be found throughout the wall of the gut, there is no apparent relationship between the distribution of fibronectin and the location of the immunoreactive cells. These results suggest that a mechanism more complex than a mere interaction with fibronectin may account for migration of crest-derived cells in the gut.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Basement Membrane / cytology
  • Cell Movement
  • Chick Embryo
  • Extracellular Matrix / physiology
  • Fibronectins / physiology
  • Intestines / embryology*
  • Lung / cytology
  • Lung / embryology
  • Mesoderm / cytology
  • Muscle, Smooth / cytology
  • Muscle, Smooth / embryology
  • Neural Crest / immunology
  • Neural Crest / physiology*
  • Pharynx / cytology
  • Pharynx / embryology
  • Vagus Nerve / cytology
  • Vagus Nerve / embryology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Fibronectins