The role of cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions in the morphogenesis of the neural crest

Dev Biol. 1993 Sep;159(1):60-74. doi: 10.1006/dbio.1993.1221.


The neural crest is an excellent model system with which to study the molecular controls of morphogenesis. Neural crest cells initiate their migration from the dorsal portion of the neural epithelium owing to an epithelial-mesenchymal transformation. They then followed stereotyped pathways for long distances before reaching their multiple destinations, and they cease migration in defined regions where they undergo terminal differentiation. Recent experimental evidence, which is summarized in this review, suggests that these various steps in neural crest morphogenesis are influenced by cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesions. Future studies employing genetic mutants and molecular techniques should provide more direct evidence for the role of cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions in neural crest morphogenesis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Morphogenesis
  • Neural Crest / cytology*