A recent burst of findings has shown that neural crest-derived stem cells (NCSCs) can be found in diverse mammalian tissues. In addition to their identification in tissues that are known to be derived from the neural crest, recent studies have revealed NCSCs in tissues that are not specifically derived from the neural crest, such as bone marrow. NCSCs can express a wide range of characteristics, and which properties are expressed mainly depends on their tissue sources and the ontogenic stage of the animal. The identification of NCSCs in various tissues opens an entirely new avenue of approach to developing autologous cell replacement therapies for use in regenerative medicine. In this review, we discuss the origin, migration, and lineage potential of NCSCs from various mammalian tissue sources.
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