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Dev Biol. 1985 Jan;107(1):264-8.

Fibronectin visualized by scanning electron microscopy immunocytochemistry on the substratum for cell migration in Xenopus laevis gastrulae.


In amphibian gastrulae, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) has shown the presence of a network of extracellular fibrils on the inner aspect of the ectoderm layer, which serves as the substratum for migration by the presumptive mesoderm cells. In vitro experiments have shown that the fibril network promotes attachment and migration by mesoderm cells, and probably guides the migration by contact guidance. Filopodia of the migrating cells showed preferential attachment to the fibrils. Use of a colloidal gold probe for SEM immunocytochemistry has shown that fibrils observed by SEM contain fibronectin, probably as a major component. This provides direct evidence that the extracellular matrix containing fibronectin provides the substratum and guides cell migration in morphogenetic movement.

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