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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Coexpression of sensory and autonomic neurotransmitter traits by avian neural crest cells in vitro.

This study shows that explants of quail neural crest cultured in a medium containing serum and chick embryo extract give rise to large numbers of cells expressing immunoreactivity for substance P (SP), a neuropeptide found in sensory neurons. These cells arise from cycling precursors, but do not appear to divide after expressing SP. The SP-positive cells in cranial neural crest cultures express both neurofilament and the Q211 antigen, but those in trunk cultures express only the Q211 antigen. In both cranial and trunk cultures, large subpopulations of the SP-positive cells express tyrosine hydroxylase and/or choline acetyltransferase, neurotransmitter markers characteristic of autonomic neurons. This finding argues against the idea that SP expression necessarily indicates commitment to the sensory neuron lineage. I further show that embryonic dorsal root ganglion (DRG) cells retain the ability to coexpress SP and tyrosine hydroxylase in vitro, although to a lesser extent than do neural crest cells.[1]


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