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J Anat. 1992 Feb;180 ( Pt 1):143-53.

Delamination of neuroepithelium and nonneural ectoderm and its relation to the convergence step in chick neurulation.

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  • 1Departamento de Biología Celular y Anatomía, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de León, Spain.


We have analysed the characteristics of the neuroectoderm-nonneural ectoderm meeting point at several axial levels in relation to the mechanics of neurulation in each level. The results show wide differences at cephalic and somitic levels. At cephalic levels, where convergence plays an important role, the delamination process appears at the beginning of the convergence step. This phenomenon produces a major isolation of the basal lamina, forming a space between this structure and the epithelial sheet in whose basal surface a new basal lamina begins to form. This cavity contains abundant extracellular matrix stained with ruthenium red (RR) and tannic acid (TA), and its increase in volume correlates with the progressive convergence of neural folds. At somitic levels, where the convergence is not important, delamination involves the progressive formation of a half-moon-shaped cavity. This structure appears between a dorsal attachment point, in the tip of neuroectodermal wall, and a ventral attachment point which coincides with the point of bending that determines the bilateral furrow, if it exists. In this small cavity, delamination is not related to an isolation of basal lamina. The RR-staining of the extracellular matrix in this cavity is scarce and the volume increase is smaller than in the cephalic region. These results are discussed in terms of neural fold convergence and neural tube closure.

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