Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Dev Biol. 2013 Oct 15;382(2):482-95. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.07.023. Epub 2013 Aug 6.

Directional migration of leading-edge mesoderm generates physical forces: Implication in Xenopus notochord formation during gastrulation.

Author information

  • 1Division for Morphogenesis, Department of Developmental Biology, National Institute for Basic Biology, 38 Nishigonaka, Myodaiji, Okazaki, Aichi 444-8585, Japan; Department of Basic Biology, School of Life Science, The Graduate University of Advanced Studies (SOKENDAI), 38 Nishigonaka, Myodaiji, Okazaki, Aichi 444-8585, Japan.


Gastrulation is a dynamic tissue-remodeling process occurring during early development and fundamental to the later organogenesis. It involves both chemical signals and physical factors. Although much is known about the molecular pathways involved, the roles of physical forces in regulating cellular behavior and tissue remodeling during gastrulation have just begun to be explored. Here, we characterized the force generated by the leading edge mesoderm (LEM) that migrates preceding axial mesoderm (AM), and investigated the contribution of LEM during Xenopus gastrulation. First, we constructed an assay system using micro-needle which could measure physical forces generated by the anterior migration of LEM, and estimated the absolute magnitude of the force to be 20-80nN. Second, laser ablation experiments showed that LEM could affect the force distribution in the AM (i.e. LEM adds stretch force on axial mesoderm along anterior-posterior axis). Third, migrating LEM was found to be necessary for the proper gastrulation cell movements and the establishment of organized notochord structure; a reduction of LEM migratory activity resulted in the disruption of mediolateral cell orientation and convergence in AM. Finally, we found that LEM migration cooperates with Wnt/PCP to form proper notochord. These results suggest that the force generated by the directional migration of LEM is transmitted to AM and assists the tissue organization of notochord in vivo independently of the regulation by Wnt/PCP. We propose that the LEM may have a mechanical role in aiding the AM elongation through the rearrangement of force distribution in the dorsal marginal zone.

© 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Force measurement; Notochord formation; Physical force; Tissue migration; Xenopus gastrulation

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

LinkOut - more resources

Full Text Sources

Molecular Biology Databases

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk