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Special Issue "Neural Crest Development in Health and Disease"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Neurobiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Nicolas Pilon
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, Canada
Interests: developmental biology; neural crest cells; neurocristopathies; enteric nervous system; molecular genetics; mouse models

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There are several reasons why so many researchers remain fascinated by neural crest cells more than a century after their first description. One reason is the central role these vertebrate-specific cells played during evolution. A second is the unique ability of these cells to migrate over very long distances during a relatively short time window. A third reason is the multipotency of these cells, which is so extensive that the neural crest is even considered a germ layer on its own, just like the ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm. Neural crest cells not only contribute a wide array of specialized cell types (e.g., neurons, glia, melanocytes, neuroendocrine cells, craniofacial osteoblasts, and vascular smooth muscle cells), but can also indirectly affect tissue morphogenesis by influencing the behavior and/or function of adjacent non-neural crest cells. A fourth reason is the apparent propensity of some neural crest cells to persist as tissue-resident stem cells in many adult tissues. A fifth reason is their involvement in a large number of human diseases, collectively referred to as neurocristopathies, an expanding research field that now benefits from decades of fundamental research on neural crest development.

The main objective of this Special Issue entitled “Neural Crest Development in Health and Disease” is to gather biologists from all backgrounds with a common interest in the fascinating neural crest cells. There is no particular limitation to the type of manuscripts or research questions (a list of potential topics is provided in the Keywords section below).

Prof. Dr. Nicolas Pilon
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Animal models
  • Cellular models
  • Cell fate determination
  • Cell metabolism
  • Cell migration
  • Cell signaling
  • Disease modeling
  • Evolution
  • Gene–environment interactions
  • Gene regulatory networks
  • Neural-crest-related congenital malformations
  • Neural-crest-related cancers
  • Molecular genetics
  • Molecular therapies
  • Pathogenic mechanisms
  • Stem-cell-based therapies

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessReview
From Neural Crest to Definitive Roof Plate: The Dynamic Behavior of the Dorsal Neural Tube
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(8), 3911; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22083911 - 10 Apr 2021
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Research on the development of the dorsal neural tube is particularly challenging. In this highly dynamic domain, a temporal transition occurs between early neural crest progenitors that undergo an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and exit the neural primordium, and the subsequent roof plate, a resident [...] Read more.
Research on the development of the dorsal neural tube is particularly challenging. In this highly dynamic domain, a temporal transition occurs between early neural crest progenitors that undergo an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and exit the neural primordium, and the subsequent roof plate, a resident epithelial group of cells that constitutes the dorsal midline of the central nervous system. Among other functions, the roof plate behaves as an organizing center for the generation of dorsal interneurons. Despite extensive knowledge of the formation, emigration and migration of neural crest progenitors, little is known about the mechanisms leading to the end of neural crest production and the transition into a roof plate stage. Are these two mutually dependent or autonomously regulated processes? Is the generation of roof plate and dorsal interneurons induced by neural tube-derived factors throughout both crest and roof plate stages, respectively, or are there differences in signaling properties and responsiveness as a function of time? In this review, we discuss distinctive characteristics of each population and possible mechanisms leading to the shift between the above cell types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neural Crest Development in Health and Disease)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.


1. Topic: The early specification of neural crest (Dr. Garcia-Castro)

2. Title: The multiple role of BMP signaling in the hindgut enteric nervous system development (Dr. Nagy)

3. Topic: From Neural Crest to the definitive Roof plate (Dr. Kalcheim)

4. Title: Cranial neural crest influence on corneal morphogenesis (Dr. West-Mays)

5. Topic: Genetic interaction between P53 and EFTUD2 (Dr. Majewska)

6. Title: Post-translational control of neural crest development (Dr. Cheung)

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