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A cell lineage analysis of segmentation in the chick embryo

Stern, Claudio D. and Fraser, Scott E. and Keynes, Roger J. and Primmett, Dennis R. N. (1988) A cell lineage analysis of segmentation in the chick embryo. Development, 104 (S). pp. 231-244. ISSN 0950-1991.

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We have studied the lineage history of the progenitors of the somite mesoderm and of the neural tube in the chick embryo by injecting single cells with the fluorescent tracer, rhodamine-lysine-dextran. We find that, although single cells within the segmental plate give rise to discrete clones in the somites to which they contribute, neither the somites nor their component parts (sclerotome, dermatome, myotome or their rostral and caudal halves) are `compartments' in the sense defined in insects. Cells in the rostral two thirds or so of the segmental plate contribute only to somite tissue and divide about every 10 h, while those in the caudal portions of this structure contribute both to the somites and to intermediate and lateral plate mesoderm derivatives. In the neural tube, the descendants of individual prospective ventral horn cells remain together within the horn, with a cycle time of 10 h. We have also investigated the role of the cell division cycle in the formation and subsequent development of somites. A single treatment of 2-day chick embryos with heat shock or a variety of drugs that affect the cell cycle all produce repeated anomalies in the pattern of somites and vertebrae that develop subsequent to the treatment. The interval between anomalies is 6-7 somites (or a multiple of this distance), which corresponds to 10 h. This interval is identical to that measured for the cell division cycle. Given that cell division synchrony is seen in the presomitic mesoderm, we suggest that the cell division cycle plays a role in somite formation. Finally, we consider the mechanisms responsible for regionalization of derivatives of the somite, and conclude that it is likely that both cell interactions and cell lineage history are important in the determination of cell fates.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Fraser, Scott E.0000-0002-5377-0223
Additional Information:© 1988 Company of Biologists Limited. The investigations reported in this paper were supported by a project grant from the Medical Research Council to C.D.S. and R.J.K. The single-cell injections were made possible by a McKnight Scholar Award, NSF grant BNS86/08356 and a gift from the Monsanto Corporation to S.E.F., and a travel grant from the Wellcome Trust to C.D.S. The Wellcome Trust also provided the funds, in the form of a grant to C.D.S., for the purchase of the equipment used for the analysis of the clones. Thanks are also due to Dr Patrick Tam for his comments on the manuscript. We are also indebted to Marianne Bronner-Fraser for putting up with us during the injection experiments while expanding her own lineage.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Medical Research Council (UK)UNSPECIFIED
McKnight FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Monsanto CorporationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:cell lineage, chick embryo, somite mesoderm, neural tube, cell division, segmentation
Issue or Number:S
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160518-070822290
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Official Citation:A cell lineage analysis of segmentation in the chick embryo Claudio D. Stern, Scott E. Fraser, Roger J. Keynes, Dennis R. N. Primmett Development 1988 104: 231-244
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:67163
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:18 May 2016 18:44
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 10:03

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