Division of labor during trunk neural crest development

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Neural crest cells, the migratory precursors of numerous cell types including the vertebrate peripheral nervous system, arise in the dorsal neural tube and follow prescribed routes into the embryonic periphery. While the timing and location of neural crest migratory pathways has been well documented in the trunk, a comprehensive collection of signals that guides neural crest migration along these paths has only recently been established. In this review, we outline the molecular cascade of events during trunk neural crest development. After describing the sequential routes taken by trunk neural crest cells, we consider the guidance cues that pattern these neural crest trajectories. We pay particular attention to segmental neural crest development and the steps and signals that generate a metameric peripheral nervous system, attempting to reconcile conflicting observations in chick and mouse. Finally, we compare cranial and trunk neural crest development in order to highlight common themes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-565
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Bridget Jacques-Fricke and Paul Kulesa for stimulating discussions and for critical reading of the manuscript. L.S.G. gratefully acknowledges support from the NIH ( K22 DE015309 ), the March of Dimes Foundation ( 5-FY2009-39 ), the American Cancer Society ( IRG-58-001-49-IRG32 ), the Minnesota Medical Foundation ( 3965-9220-09 ) and the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center ( 2009-44 ) and Graduate School ( 21393 ). J.R.A. is supported by F32 DE019755 .


  • Guidance
  • Migration
  • Neural crest
  • Peripheral nervous system
  • Segmental
  • Trunk


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