Participation of neural crest-derived cells in the genesis of the skull in birds
Journal of embryology and experimental morphology
The differentiation of cephalic neural crest cells into skeletal tissue in birds has been observed using the quail-chick nuclear marking system, which is based on specific differences in the distribution of the nuclear DNA. Chimaeras were formed by replacing a fragment of cephalic neural primordium of a 2- to 12-somite chicken embryo by the corresponding fragment isolated from an equivalent quail embryo. The participation of the graft-derived cells in the formation of the skull of these embryos
... was studied on histological sections after Feulgen and Rossenbeck staining. Cells from the prosencephalic neural crest migrate into the frontal nasal process and mix with the mesencephalic neural crest cells in the lateral nasal processes, around the optic cupule and beneath the diencephalon. In addition, the mesencephalic neural crest cells form the bulk of the mesenchyme of the maxillary processes and mandibular arch, whereas the rhombencephalic neural crest cells become located in the branchial arches. The origin of cartilages of the chondrocranium and bones of the neurocranium and viscerocranium has been shown in the chimaeric embryos: the basal plate cartilages, occipital bones, sphenoid bones and the cranial vault are mainly of mesodermal origin. However some parts have a dual origin: rhombo-mesencephalic neural crest cells are found in the otic capsule, and the frontal bone, the rostrum of parasphenoid and the orbital cartilages contain diverse amounts of prosencephalo-mesencephalic neural crest cells. The squamosals and the columella auris are formed from mesectodermic cells as are the nasal skeleton, the palatines and the maxillar bones. The mesectodermal origin of mandibular and hyoid bones and cartilages was already known. From these results it appears that the cephalic neural crest is particularly important in the formation of the facial part of the skull, while the vault and dorsal part are mesodermal and cartilages and bones found in the intermediary region are of mixed origin. The presence of mixed structures implies that the mesoderm and the mesectoderm are equally competent towards the specific inducers of these bones and cartilages. This correlates with the equivalence in differentiation capacities already shown for cephalic mesodermal and mesectodermal mesenchymes.