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PLoS Biol. 2005 Aug;3(8):e268. Epub 2005 Jul 26.

De novo formation of left-right asymmetry by posterior tilt of nodal cilia.

Author information

1
Graduate School of Frontier Biosciences, Osaka University, Japan. snonaka@itsa.ucsf.edu

Abstract

In the developing mouse embryo, leftward fluid flow on the ventral side of the node determines left-right (L-R) asymmetry. However, the mechanism by which the rotational movement of node cilia can generate a unidirectional flow remains hypothetical. Here we have addressed this question by motion and morphological analyses of the node cilia and by fluid dynamic model experiments. We found that the cilia stand, not perpendicular to the node surface, but tilted posteriorly. We further confirmed that such posterior tilt can produce leftward flow in model experiments. These results strongly suggest that L-R asymmetry is not the descendant of pre-existing L-R asymmetry within each cell but is generated de novo by combining three sources of spatial information: antero-posterior and dorso-ventral axes, and the chirality of ciliary movement.

PMID:
16035921
PMCID:
PMC1180513
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pbio.0030268
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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