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Anat Embryol (Berl). 1992;185(3):239-47.

Effects of injecting fibronectin and antifibronectin antibodies on cushion mesenchyme formation in the chick. An in vivo study.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Cantabria, Faculty of Medicine, Santander, Spain.


During heart development in the chick some of the endocardial cells that cover the cushion areas leave the cushion endocardium, seed the underlying cardiac jelly, and are transformed into mesenchyme. Cushion mesenchymal (CM) cells migrate from the endocardium toward the myocardium using the cardiac jelly as substratum. Developing cushions have been microinjected with fibronectin (FN), antifibronectin antibodies (AbFN), and four synthetic peptide probes. Two of these peptides (P7 and P10) contained the sequence Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser (RGDS), while the other two (P15 and PColl) did not. Cushion area, individual cell area, cell density, cell orientation and a factor of form were evaluated in both experimental and control cushions. CM cell migration was inhibited by FN and AbFN, only partially inhibited by P10 and unaffected by P7. Cushions injected with P15 and PColl were unaffected. These results can be explained by steric modifications of the extracellular matrix, that may render cardiac jelly nonpermissive for CM cell migration, or by interaction of the substances injected at the endocardial cell surface. Migrating CM cells do not present any preferential orientation in any particular direction. CM cell migration seems to depend upon intrinsic migratory behaviour and the presence of FN at the CM cell surface. The enforcement of the direction of CM cell migration does not appear to rely upon matrix signals but be the result of randomly migrating cells becoming distributed more evenly in the matrix.

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