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J Vis Exp. 2010 May 23;(39). pii: 1949. doi: 10.3791/1949.

Live-cell imaging and quantitative analysis of embryonic epithelial cells in Xenopus laevis.

Author information

1
Bioengineering, University of Pittsburgh, USA.

Abstract

Embryonic epithelial cells serve as an ideal model to study morphogenesis where multi-cellular tissues undergo changes in their geometry, such as changes in cell surface area and cell height, and where cells undergo mitosis and migrate. Furthermore, epithelial cells can also regulate morphogenetic movements in adjacent tissues(1). A traditional method to study epithelial cells and tissues involve chemical fixation and histological methods to determine cell morphology or localization of particular proteins of interest. These approaches continue to be useful and provide "snapshots" of cell shapes and tissue architecture, however, much remains to be understood about how cells acquire specific shapes, how various proteins move or localize to specific positions, and what paths cells follow toward their final differentiated fate. High resolution live imaging complements traditional methods and also allows more direct investigation into the dynamic cellular processes involved in the formation, maintenance, and morphogenesis of multicellular epithelial sheets. Here we demonstrate experimental methods from the isolation of animal cap tissues from Xenopus laevis embryos to confocal imaging of epithelial cells and simple measurement approaches that together can augment molecular and cellular studies of epithelial morphogenesis.

PMID:
20498627
PMCID:
PMC3152864
DOI:
10.3791/1949
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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