Document Detail

Enteric nervous system development: analysis of the selective developmental potentialities of vagal and sacral neural crest cells using quail-chick chimeras.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  11146425     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The majority of the enteric nervous system (ENS) is derived from vagal neural crest cells (NCC). For many years, the contribution from a second region of the neuraxis (the sacral neural crest) to the ENS has been less clear, with conflicting reports appearing in the literature. To resolve this longstanding issue, we documented the spatiotemporal migration and differentiation of vagal and sacral-derived NCC within the developing chick embryo using quail-chick grafting and antibody labelling. Results showed that vagal NCC colonised the entire length of the gut in a rostrocaudal direction. The hindgut, the region of the gastrointestinal tract most frequently affected in developmental disorders, was found to be colonised in a complex manner. Vagal NCC initially migrated within the submucosa, internal to the circular muscle layer, before colonising the myenteric plexus region. In contrast, sacral NCC, which colonised the hindgut in a caudorostral direction, were primarily located in the myenteric plexus region from where they subsequently migrated to the submucosa. We also observed that sacral NCC migrated into the hindgut in significant numbers only after vagal-derived cells had colonised the entire length of the gut. This suggested that to participate in ENS formation, sacral cells may require an interaction with vagal-derived cells, or with factors or signalling molecules released by them or their progeny. To investigate this possible inter-relationship, we ablated sections of vagal neural crest (NC) to prevent the rostrocaudal migration of ENS precursors and, thus, create an aganglionic hindgut model. In the same NC ablated animals, quail-chick sacral NC grafts were performed. In the absence of vagal-derived ganglia, sacral NCC migrated and differentiated in an apparently normal manner. Although the numbers of sacral cells within the hindgut was slightly higher in the absence of vagal-derived cells, the increase was not sufficient to compensate for the lack of enteric ganglia. As vagal NCC appear to be more invasive than sacral NCC, since they colonise the entire length of the gut, we investigated the ability of transplanted vagal cells to colonise the hindgut by grafting the vagal NC into the sacral region. We found that when transplanted, vagal cells retained their invasive capacity and migrated into the hindgut in large numbers. Although sacral-derived cells normally contribute a relatively small number of precursors to the post-umbilical gut, many heterotopic vagal cells were found within the hindgut enteric plexuses at much earlier stages of development than normal. Heterotopic grafting of invasive vagal NCC into the sacral neuraxis may, therefore, be a means of rescuing an aganglionic hindgut phenotype.
A J Burns; N M Le Douarin
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Anatomical record     Volume:  262     ISSN:  0003-276X     ISO Abbreviation:  Anat. Rec.     Publication Date:  2001 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2001-01-29     Completed Date:  2001-02-08     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0370540     Medline TA:  Anat Rec     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  16-28     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Institut d'Embryologie Cellulaire et Moléculaire du CNRS et du Collège de France, 94736 Nogent-sur-Marne, France.
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MeSH Terms
Cell Movement / physiology
Chick Embryo
Chimera / embryology*
Enteric Nervous System / cytology,  embryology*
Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
Neural Crest / cytology,  embryology*
Neurons / cytology,  physiology
Quail / embryology*
Sacrum / innervation*
Vagus Nerve / embryology*

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