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Development. 1991 Jul;112(3):713-22.

Specification of neurepithelium and surface epithelium in avian transplantation chimeras.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, University of Utah, School of Medicine, Salt Lake City 84132.


Previous studies of the avian blastoderm have revealed that extensive displacements occur within the epiblast during gastrulation and neurulation. The present study had two main purposes: (1) to map the origin and movement of prospective surface epithelial cells, and (2) to ask whether neurepithelial and surface epithelial cell fates are determined prior to cell movement, or whether they arise later as a result of the ultimate position attained by cells through their movement. Our results show that the rostral and lateral intraembryonic and extraembryonic surface epithelium originates as far laterally as at the area pellucida-area opaca interface of the early epiblast. Intraembryonic surface epithelial cells rearrange relative to one another, extending medially to contribute to the formation of the neural folds, whereas extraembryonic surface epithelial cells maintain their lateral positions, spreading uniformly as the epiblast expands. Our results further show that surface epithelial and neurepithelial cell fates are labile at the onset of neurulation, suggesting that cell fate is specified following cell movement.

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