• distal vagal ganglion;
  • migration;
  • common carotid artery;
  • immunoelectron microscopy;
  • parathyroid gland


Development of the carotid body and the glomus cell groups in the wall of the common carotid artery and its branches was examined in chickens at various developmental stages by immunohistochemistry using three different monoclonal antibodies, i. e., anti-neuron-specific class III β-tubulin isotype (TuJ1), anti-rat brain β-tubulin, and anti-Leu-7 (HNK-1) antibodies. All the antibodies reacted with neurons. The carotid body anlage was first discerned at 6 days of incubation at the lateral portion of the third branchial artery. The cells and nerve fibers immunoreactive for TuJ1, brain β-tubulin and Leu-7, which were connected with the distal ganglion of the vagus nerve, were found around the carotid body anlage at this stage. Within the carotid body anlage, no immunoreactivity yet appeared. The immunoreactive cells were accumulated around the carotid body anlage until 8 days of incubation. From 9 days of incubation, the immunoreactive cells continuing with the distal vagal ganglion began to enter into the carotid body anlage and also dispersed widely along the common carotid artery and its branches, giving rise to the glomus cells. At 12 days of incubation, a large portion of the carotid body was occupied by the immunoreactive cells. Thus, the present study evidences that the glomus cells in the carotid body and around the arteries are emigrés that arrive in each residential place from the distal vagal ganglion. Immunoreactivity for TuJ1, brain β-tubulin, and Leu-7 in the glomus cells started to decrease at late stages of embryonic development. After hatching, no TuJ1-immunoreactive cells were detected in the carotid body region. © 1994 Wiley-Liss, Inc.