Figure 21-11. Lateral inhibition and cell diversification.

Figure 21-11Lateral inhibition and cell diversification

Adjacent cells compete to adopt the primary character (blue), by delivering inhibitory signals to one another. At first, all cells in the patch are similar. Any cell that gains an advantage in the competition (darker blue) delivers a stronger inhibitory signal (more red inhibition signals) to its neighbors, inhibiting them from delivering inhibitory signals themselves in return. This effect is self-reinforcing, and it leads to creation of a fine-grained mixture in which the cells finally adopting the primary character (deep blue) are surrounded by inhibited cells that adopt a different character (gray).

From: Universal Mechanisms of Animal Development

Cover of Molecular Biology of the Cell
Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th edition.
Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, et al.
New York: Garland Science; 2002.
Copyright © 2002, Bruce Alberts, Alexander Johnson, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, and Peter Walter; Copyright © 1983, 1989, 1994, Bruce Alberts, Dennis Bray, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, and James D. Watson .

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