Neural Crest

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Neural crest

A strip of ectodermal material in the early vertebrate embryo inserted between the prospective neural plate and epidermis. After closure of the neural tube the crest cells migrate into the body and give rise to parts of the neural system: the main part of the visceral cranium, the mesenchyme, the chromaffin cells, and pigment cells. The true nature of the neural crest eluded recognition for many years because this primary organ has a temporary existence; its cells and derivatives are difficult to analyze when dispersed throughout the body. The fact that mesenchyme arises from this ectodermal organ was directly contrary to the doctrine of the specificity of the germ layers.

Neural crest no doubt exists, with similar qualities, in all vertebrate groups, including the cyclostomes. It has been most thoroughly studied in amphibians and the chick. See Germ layers

Neural Crest


the fold of ectoderm that borders the neural, or medullary, plate during neurulation in chordates and man. The cells of the neural crest become distributed over the neural tube after neurulation, forming the ganglionic primordia. The neural crest gives rise to the spinal and sympathetic ganglia, the visceral skeleton, the pigment cells, and the connective tissue layer of the skin.

neural crest

[′nu̇r·əl ′krest]
Ectoderm composing the primordium of the cranial, spinal, and autonomic ganglia and adrenal medulla, located on either side of the neural tube.
References in periodicals archive ?
The combination of the neural crest cell hypothesis and supporting genetic evidence, such as that provided by this study, give researchers clues about which genes or biological systems might be most important for domestication, he says.
Lab animals with defects in neural crest cell migration are known to have smaller adrenal glands.
Laryngeal paragangliomas are rare neoplasms that originate in the neural crest cells of the laryngeal paraganglia.
The study shows that there are two types of GMSC: those that arise from the mesoderm layer of cells during embryonic development (M-GMSC) and those that come from cranial neural crest cells (N-GMSC).
Neural crest cells manifest early in the development of a vertebrate embryo.
Topics include geographic distribution of cavefish, biology of cavefish including cellular mechanisms of eye degeneration, reproduction timing, male mating behavior, migratory neural crest cells, gut contents in relation to prey densities, conservation of subterranean fishes, and genetic diversity of cavefish populations.
Prior to this development neural crest cells, which are particularly vulnerable to the effects of alcohol, may already have been reduced due to alcohol induced apoptosis.
The ducks grew pointy quail beaks and the quails grew broad duckbills--strong evidence that neural crest cells are in fact responsible for beak development.