Neural Crest

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The neural crest is a band of ectodermal material in the early vertebrate embryo. It lies between the prospective neural plate and epidermis. When the neural tube closes 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 neural crest gives rise to neurons and ganglia of the autonomic nervous system; some skeletal elements such as tendons and smooth muscle; chondrocytes, osteocytes, melanocytes, chromaffin cells, and supporting cells and hormone producing cells in certain organs.