A positive correlation between permissiveness of mesoderm to neural crest migration and early DRG growth

Gilat Gvirtzman, Ronald S. Goldstein, Chaya Kalcheim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The microenvironment created by grafting rostral somitic halves in place of normal somites leads to the formation of nonsegmented peripheral ganglia (Kalcheim and Teillet, 1989; Goldstein and Kalcheim, 1991) and is mitogenic for neural crest (NC) cells that become dorsal root ganglia (DRG) (Goldstein et al., 1990). We have now extended these studies by using three surgical manipulations to determine how additional mesodermal tissues affected DRG growth in chick embryos. The following experimental manipulations were performed: (1) unilateral deletion of epithelial somites, similar deletions followed by replacing the somites with (2) a three‐dimensional collagen matrix, or (3) fragments of quail lateral plate mesoderm. When somites were absent or replaced by collagen matrix, ganglia were unsegmented, and their volumes were decreased by 21% and 12%, respectively, compared to contralateral intact DRG. In contrast, when lateral plate mesoderm was transplanted in place of somitic mesoderm, NC cells migrated into the grafted mesoderm and formed unsegmented DRG whose volumes were increased by 62.6% compared to the contralateral ganglia. These results suggest that although DRG precursors do not require sclerotome to begin migration and condensation precesses, DRG size is modulated by the properties of the mesoderm. Permissiveness to migration is positively correlated with an increase in DRG volume. This volume increase observed in grafts of lateral plate mesoderm is likely to result from enhanced proliferation of neural crest progenitors, previously demonstrated for DRG cells in rostral somitic grafts.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)205-216
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neurobiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1992


  • avian embryo
  • lateral plate mesoderm
  • mitogenesis
  • neural crest
  • sclerotome
  • segmentation
  • somites
  • sympathetic ganglia
  • ventral roots


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