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Development. 2008 Nov;135(21):3521-30. doi: 10.1242/dev.023416. Epub 2008 Oct 2.

PDGF signalling controls the migration of mesoderm cells during chick gastrulation by regulating N-cadherin expression.

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  • 1Division of Cell and Developmental Biology, Wellcome Trust Biocentre, College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 5EH, UK.

Abstract

In the early chick embryo, Pdgfa is expressed in the epiblast, outlining the migration route that mesoderm cells expressing the receptor, Pdgfralpha, follow to form somites. Both expression of a dominant-negative PDGFRalpha and depletion of endogenous PDGFRalpha ligands through injection of PDGFRalpha-Fc fragments, inhibit the migration of mesoderm cells after their ingression through the primitive streak. siRNA-mediated downregulation of Pdgfa expression in the epiblast on one side of the streak strongly blocks the migration of mesoderm cells into that side. Beads soaked in PDGFA elicit a directional attractive movement response in mesoderm cells, showing that PDGFA can provide directional information. Surprisingly, however, PDGF signalling is also required for directional movement towards other attractants, such as FGF4. PDGF signalling controls N-cadherin expression on mesoderm cells, which is required for efficient migration. PDGF signalling activates the PI3 kinase signalling pathway in vivo and activation of this pathway is required for proper N-cadherin expression.

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