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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2006 Aug;16(4):355-9. Epub 2006 Jun 23.

Attraction rules: germ cell migration in zebrafish.

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Germ Cell Development, Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Am Fassberg 11, 37070 Goettingen, Germany.


The migration of zebrafish primordial germ cell towards the region where the gonad develops is guided by the chemokine SDF-1a. Recent studies show that soon after their specification, the cells undergo a series of morphological alterations before they become motile and are able to respond to attractive cues. As migratory cells, primordial germ cells move towards their target while correcting their path upon exiting a cyclic phase in which morphological cell polarity is lost. In the following stages, the cells gather at specific locations and move as cell clusters towards their final target. In all of these stages, zebrafish germ cells respond as individual cells to alterations in the shape of the sdf-1a expression domain, by directed migration towards their target - the position where the gonad develops.

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