Development of the Spinal Cord and Neural Crest
joint with Stem Cells: Origins, Fates and Functions
Organizer(s): Marianne Bronner-FraserDate: March 17 - 23, 2002
Location: Keystone Resort, Keystone, CO, USA
In recent years, great strides have been made in our understanding of the development of the central nervous system and the neural crest-derived peripheral nervous system. The goal of this meeting is to relate our current knowledge about the molecular basis of neural development to the important problem of neural repair incurred by injury or degenerative disease. The vertebrate nervous system arises during neurulation, as the neural plate thickens and invaginates to form the neural tube. The neural tube, which is the precursor to the entire central nervous system, has a characteristic polarity along the rostrocaudal as well as the dorsoventral axes. Rostrocaudal regionalization is manifested by the formation of subdivisions in the neural tube, such as the forebrain, midbrain, hindbrain and spinal cord. Along the dorsoventral axis, different cell types arise from different portions of the neural tube. Dorsal structures include the roof plate, commissural neurons, and neural crest cells, whereas ventral structures include the floor plate and the motor neuron columns. Shortly after neural tube closure, neural crest emigrate from the neural tube and populate the periphery. The neural crest is a multipotent stem-cell-like precursor population that migrates extensively and gives rise to an amazingly diverse set of derivatives including specific neuronal and glial derivatives, as well as melanocytes, craniofacial bone and cartilage and smooth muscle. There have been major advances in elucidating the factors involved in initial induction of the nervous system, as well as those responsible for differentiation and maintenance of neurons. For the formation of proper neuronal connections, it is now clear that both chemoattraction and chemorepulsion play important roles in axon guidance. By bringing together both basic and clinically relevant research on neural crest and spinal cord development and regeneration, this meeting will foster interactions that will lead to better understanding of both normal development and neural repair.
Discounted Abstract Deadline: November 16 2001
Discounted Registration Deadline: January 17 2002