Local embryonic matrices determine region-specific phenotypes in neural crest cells

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Science  01 Jul 1988:
Vol. 241, Issue 4861, pp. 86-89
DOI: 10.1126/science.3388022


Membrane microcarriers were used to determine the ability of regional extracellular matrices to direct neural crest cell differentiation in culture. Neural crest cells from the axolotl embryo responded to extracellular matrix material explanted from the subepidermal migratory pathway by dispersing and by differentiating into pigment cells. In contrast, matrix material from the presumptive site of dorsal root ganglia stimulated pronounced cell-cell association and neurotypic expression. Cell line segregation during ontogeny of the neural crest that leads to diversification into pigment cells of the skin or into elements of the peripheral nervous system appears to be controlled in part by local cell-matrix interactions.