Homocysteine Inhibits Cardiac Neural Crest Cell Formation and Morphogenesis In Vivo

Brent J. Tierney, Trang Ho, Mark V. Reedy, Philip R. Brauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Elevated homocysteine increases the risk of neurocristopathies. Here, we determined whether elevating homocysteine altered the proliferation or number of chick neural crest cells that form between the midotic and third somite in vivo. Homocysteine increased the number of neural tube cells but decreased neural crest cell number. However, the sum total of cells was not different from controls. In controls, the 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine-labeling index was higher in newly formed neural crest cells than in their progenitors, paralleling reports showing these progenitors must pass the restriction point before undergoing epithelial-mesenchymal transition. Homocysteine decreased the labeling index of newly formed neural crest cells, suggesting that it inhibited cell cycle progression of neural crest progenitors or the S-phase entry of newly formed neural crest cells. Homocysteine also inhibited neural crest dispersal and decreased the distance they migrated from the neural tube. These results show neural crest morphogenesis is directly altered by elevated homocysteine in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-73
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Developmental Biology


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