Int. J. Dev. Biol. 61: 407 - 413 (2017)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.160380tm
© UPV/EHU Press

Galectin-1 enhances the generation of neural crest cells

Tsutomu Motohashi*,1,4, Masahiro Nishioka1, Daisuke Kitagawa1, Norito Kawamura1, Natsuki Watanabe1, Takanori Wakaoka2, Toshihiko Kadoya3 and Takahiro Kunisada1,4

1Department of Tissue and Organ Development, Regeneration and Advanced Medical Science, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine, Gifu, 2Department of Otolaryngology, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine, Gifu, 3Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Engineering, Maebashi Institute of Technology, Maebashi, Gunma and 4Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology (CREST), Tokyo, Japan

ABSTRACT Neural crest (NC) cells are multipotent cells that emerge from the dorsal region of the neural tube. After delaminating from the neural tube, NC cells migrate throughout the developing embryo and differentiate into various cells: neurons and glial cells of the peripheral nervous system, melanocytes of skin, and skeletal elements of the face and head. We previously analyzed the gene expression profile of a NC subpopulation isolated from Sox10-IRES-Venus mice and found that the carbohydrate-binding protein, Galectin-1 (Gal-1) was strongly expressed in generating NC cells. In the present study, we identified GAL-1 as a factor that promotes NC cell generation. Gal-1 was significantly expressed in NC cells generated in explanted neural tubes. The presence of GAL-1 enhanced the generation of NC-like cells from mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells. In the differentiation of ES cells into NC-like cells, GAL-1 enhanced neurogenesis in the early stages and facilitated NC-like cell generation in the later stages. GAL-1 also enhanced the generation of NC cells from explanted neural tubes. These results suggest that GAL-1 plays a facilitative role in NC cell generation.


neural crest cell, galectin-1, mouse embryonic stem cell

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