Imaging of dynamic actin remodeling reveals distinct behaviors of head and trunk mesoderm in gastrulating Xenopus laevis
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Gastrulation involves coordinated movements of cells, facilitating mesoderm and endoderm internalization and proper patterning of tissues across the germ layers. In Xenopus laevis, head mesoderm migrates collectively along the blastocoel roof fibronectin network towards the animal pole. Meanwhile, the trunk mesodermal cells migrate over each other in convergent thickening and convergent extension movements elongating the body axis. The behaviors of cells in these regions are investigated mainly in tissue explants taken from the respective head or trunk mesodermal regions. How cells behave at the transitional zone between these territories is not described in detail. To learn about cell behaviors around this junction, we imaged cell movements in an explant that encompassed the head and trunk mesoderm. We observed that head mesoderm migration on fibronectin employed lamellipodial protrusions at the leading edge and dynamic actin remodeling in the trailing cells. Trunk mesodermal cells underwent mediolateral cell elongation and intercalation to form the notochord. Lateral edges of the notochord were defined before the anterior edge. Our movie reveals distinct mesodermal cell behaviors occurring simultaneously in different regions of gastrulating embryos. This study highlights the power of applying modern microscopy tools to revisit classical experiments, permitting a greater understanding of the cellular dynamics that shape the embryo.
© The Author(s), 2021. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Komatsu, V., Doddihal, V., & Chang, C. Imaging of dynamic actin remodeling reveals distinct behaviors of head and trunk mesoderm in gastrulating Xenopus laevis. MicroPublication Biology, (2021), https://doi.org/10.17912/micropub.biology.000483.
Suggested CitationKomatsu, V., Doddihal, V., & Chang, C. (2021). Imaging of dynamic actin remodeling reveals distinct behaviors of head and trunk mesoderm in gastrulating Xenopus laevis. MicroPublication Biology.
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