Guidance molecules involved in the development of the enteric nervous system

Grant number: 350311


There are millions of nerve cells within the wall of the intestine, and they control many intestinal functions, including motility. During development, these nerve cells arise from cells which migrate away from the developing brain and first enter the stomach. The migratory cells are called 'neural crest' cells. After entering the stomach, neural crest cells migrate within the wall of the gastrointestinal tract, until they reach the far (anal) end. In embryonic mice, this colonisation of the entire gut by neural crest cells takes over four days, and in humans the process probably takes around three weeks. It is essential that neural crest cells colonise the entire gastrointestinal tract, sin..

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University of Melbourne Researchers