ABSTRACT: Background: Neural crest cells emerge by delamination from the dorsal neural tube and give rise to various components of the peripheral nervous system in vertebrate embryos. These cells change from non-motile into highly motile cells migrating to distant areas before further differentiation. Mechanisms controlling delamination and subsequent migration of neural crest cells are not fully understood. Slit2, a chemorepellant for axonal guidance that repels and stimulates motility of trunk neural crest cells away from the gut has recently been suggested to be a tumor suppressor molecule. The goal of this study was to further investigate the role of Slit2 in trunk neural crest cell migration by constitutive expression in neural crest cells. Results: We found that Slit gain-of-function significantly impaired neural crest cell migration while Slit loss-of-function favored migration. In addition, we observed that the distribution of key cytoskeletal markers was disrupted in both gain and loss of function instances. Conclusions: These findings suggest that Slit molecules might be involved in the processes that allow neural crest cells to begin migrating and transitioning to a mesenchymal type.
Developmental Dynamics 06/2012; 241(8):1274-88. · 2.54 Impact Factor