Mechanisms of neurulation: Traditional viewpoint and recent advances

G. C. Schoenwolf, J. L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

292 Scopus citations


In this review article, the traditional viewpoint of how neurulation occurs is evaluated in light of recent advances. This has led to the formulation of the following fundamentals: (1) neurulation, specifically neural plate shaping and bending, is a multifactorial process resulting from forces both intrinsic and extrinsic to the neural plate; (2) neurulation is driven by both changes in neurepithelial shape and other form-shaping events; and (3) forces for cell shape changes are generated by both the cytoskeleton and other factors. Several cell behaviors within the neural plate have been elucidated. Future challenges include identifying cell behaviors within non-neurepithelial tissues, determining how intrinsic and extrinsic cell behaviors are orchestrated into coordinated morphogenetic movements and elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying such behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-270
Number of pages28
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 6 1990


  • ectoderm
  • neural folds
  • neural groove
  • neural plate
  • neural tube
  • neurepithelium
  • neurulation
  • notochord

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology

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