A Morpholino oligo can modify splicing of a pre-mRNA - www.gene-tools.com



In developing vertebrates, the neural tube forms from a sheet of neural ectoderm by complex cell movements and morphogenesis. Convergent extension movements and the apical constriction along with apical-basal elongation of cells in the neural ectoderm are thought to be essential for the neural tube closure (NTC) process. In addition, it is known that non-neural ectoderm also plays a crucial role in this process, as the neural tube fails to close in the absence of this tissue in chick and axolotl. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which it functions in NTC are as yet unclear. We demonstrate here that the non-neural superficial epithelium moves in the direction of tensile forces applied along the dorsal-ventral axis during NTC. We found that this force is partly attributable to the deep layer of non-neural ectoderm cells, which moved collectively towards the dorsal midline along with the superficial layer. Moreover, inhibition of this movement by deleting integrin β1 function resulted in incomplete NTC. Furthermore, we demonstrated that other proposed mechanisms, such as oriented cell division, cell rearrangement and cell-shape changes have no or only minor roles in the non-neural movement. This study is the first to demonstrate dorsally oriented deep-cell migration in non-neural ectoderm, and suggests that a global reorganization of embryo tissues is involved in NTC.

  • Accepted February 6, 2012.
View Full Text