BMP4 and Neuregulin regulate the direction of mouse neural crest cell differentiation.

Academic Article


  • The neural crest is a transient embryonic tissue that initially generates neural crest stem cells, which then migrate throughout the body to give rise to a variety of mature tissues. It was proposed that the fate of neural crest cells is gradually determined via environmental cues from the surrounding tissues. In the present study, neural crest cells were isolated and identified from mouse embryos. Bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4) and Neuregulin (NRG) were employed to induce the differentiation of neural crest cells. Treatment with BMP4 revealed neuron-associated differentiation; cells treated with NRG exhibited differentiation into the Schwann cell lineage, a type of glia. Soft agar clonogenic and neurosphere formation assays were conducted to investigate the effects of N-Myc (MYCN) overexpression in neural crest cells; the number of colonies and neurospheres notably increased after 14 days. These findings demonstrated that the direction of cell differentiation may be affected by altering the factors present in the surrounding environment. In addition, MYCN may serve a key role in regulating neural crest cell differentiation.
  • Authors

    Published In


  • N-Myc, Neuregulin, bone morphogenetic protein 4, differentiation, neural crest cells
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Zhu S; Liu W; Ding H-F; Cui H; Yang L
  • Start Page

  • 3883
  • End Page

  • 3890
  • Volume

  • 17
  • Issue

  • 5