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Neural crest-derived stem cells


Shakhova, O; Sommer, L (2010). Neural crest-derived stem cells. In: The Stem Cell Research Community. StemBook. Cambridge: Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Online.

Abstract

The neural crest is a transient embryonic structure in vertebrates that gives rise to most of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and to several non-neural cell types, including smooth muscle cells of the cardiovascular system, pigment cells in the skin, and craniofacial bones, cartilage, and connective tissue. Although neural crest cells undergo developmental restrictions with time, at least some neural crest cells have the capacity to self-renew and display a developmental potential almost only topped by embryonic stem (ES) cells. Intriguingly, such neural crest-derived stem cells (NCSCs) are not only present in the embryonic neural crest, but also in various neural crest-derived tissues in the fetal and even adult organism. These postmigratory NCSCs functionally resemble their embryonic counterparts in their ability to differentiate into a variety of cell types. Because of their broad potential, the possibility to isolate NCSCs from easily accessible tissue, and the recent accomplishment to generate NCSC-like cells from human ES and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, NCSCs have become an ideal model system to study stem cell biology in development and disease. Despite exciting achievements in the field, several pressing issues remain to be addressed, however, such as the mechanisms regulating expansion and fate decisions in NCSCs from different sources and the still unknown physiological roles of NCSCs in the adult organism.

Abstract

The neural crest is a transient embryonic structure in vertebrates that gives rise to most of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and to several non-neural cell types, including smooth muscle cells of the cardiovascular system, pigment cells in the skin, and craniofacial bones, cartilage, and connective tissue. Although neural crest cells undergo developmental restrictions with time, at least some neural crest cells have the capacity to self-renew and display a developmental potential almost only topped by embryonic stem (ES) cells. Intriguingly, such neural crest-derived stem cells (NCSCs) are not only present in the embryonic neural crest, but also in various neural crest-derived tissues in the fetal and even adult organism. These postmigratory NCSCs functionally resemble their embryonic counterparts in their ability to differentiate into a variety of cell types. Because of their broad potential, the possibility to isolate NCSCs from easily accessible tissue, and the recent accomplishment to generate NCSC-like cells from human ES and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, NCSCs have become an ideal model system to study stem cell biology in development and disease. Despite exciting achievements in the field, several pressing issues remain to be addressed, however, such as the mechanisms regulating expansion and fate decisions in NCSCs from different sources and the still unknown physiological roles of NCSCs in the adult organism.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Anatomy
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2010
Deposited On:01 Feb 2011 13:34
Last Modified:17 Feb 2018 18:09
Publisher:Harvard Stem Cell Institute
OA Status:Green
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3824/stembook.1.51.1
PubMed ID:20614636

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