From proliferation to target innervation: signaling molecules that direct sympathetic nervous system development

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The sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system includes a variety of cells including neurons, endocrine cells and glial cells. A recent study (Furlan et al. 2017) has revised thinking about the developmental origin of these cells. It now appears that sympathetic neurons and chromaffin cells of the adrenal medulla do not have an immediate common ancestor in the form a “sympathoadrenal cell”, as has been long believed. Instead, chromaffin cells arise from Schwann cell precursors. This review integrates the new findings with the expanding body of knowledge on the signalling pathways and transcription factors that regulate the origin of cells of the sympathetic division of the autonomic nervous system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-193
Number of pages23
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Differentiation
  • Proliferation
  • Sympathetic
  • Sympathoadrenal
  • Target innervation

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