Int. J. Dev. Biol. 64: 433 - 443 (2020)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.200078gc
© UPV/EHU Press

PuraMatrix allows differentiation of a broad repertoire of neural and mesenchymal phenotypes from trunk neural crest

Clarissa R. Taufer1,2, Monica A. Rodrigues-Da-Silva2 and Giordano W. Calloni*,2

1Programa de Pós-graduação em Biologia Celular e do Desenvolvimento and 2Laboratório de Plasticidade e Diferenciação de Células da Crista Neural, Departamento de Biologia Celular, Embriologia e Genética, Centro de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Campus Universitário - Trindade, Florianópolis, S.C., Brazil

ABSTRACT The neural crest (NC) is a transitory embryonic structure of vertebrates that gives rise to an astonishing variety of derivatives, encompassing both neural and mesenchymal cell types. Neural crest cells (NCCs) are an excellent model to study how environmental factors modulate features such as cell multipotentiality and differentiation. Tests with multifunctional substrates that allow NCCs to express their full potential, while promoting cell subcloning, are needed to advance knowledge about NCC self-renewal and to foster future biotechnological approaches. Here we show that a self-assembled peptide named PuraMatrixTM is an excellent substrate that allows the differentiation of NCCs based on the identification of seven different cell types. Depending on the PuraMatrixTM concentration employed, different frequencies and quantities of a given cell type were obtained. It is noteworthy that an enormous quantity and diversity of mesenchymal phenotypes, such as chondrocytes, could be observed. The quantity of adipocytes and osteocytes also increased with the use of mesenchymal differentiation factors (MDF), but PuraMatrixTM alone can support the appearance of these mesenchymal cell types. PuraMatrixTM will promote advances in studies related to multipotentiality, self-renewal and control of NCC differentiation, since it is an extremely simple and versatile material which can be employed for both in vivo and in vitro experiments.


PuraMatrix, RADA16, trunk neural crest, neural, mesenchymal, skeletogenic

*Corresponding author e-mail: