Development of choline acetyltransferase and cholinesterase activities in enteric ganglia derives from presumptive adrenergic and cholinergic levels of the neural crest

Cell Differ. 1977 Oct;6(3-4):199-216. doi: 10.1016/0045-6039(77)90016-1.


The cholinergic differentiation of enteric ganglia in embryos of chick and quail was studied with particular reference to cholinesterase and choline acetyltransferase activities. Differentiation during normal development was compared with that obtained after culture of the neural primordium or neural crest in direct association with aneural hindgut. Biochemically differentiated cholinergic ganglia developed in explants containing cells from either the 'vagal' (presumptive cholinergic) or 'truncal' (presumptive adrenergic) levels of the neural crest. Neither extra-intestinal migration of neural crest cell nor the presence of central preganglionic fibres is a prerequisite for enteric ganglion differentiation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Central Nervous System / embryology*
  • Chick Embryo
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase / metabolism*
  • Cholinesterases / metabolism*
  • Coturnix
  • Ganglia, Autonomic / embryology
  • Ganglia, Autonomic / enzymology*
  • Intestines / embryology
  • Intestines / innervation*


  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase
  • Cholinesterases