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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2016 Jul;55:89-98. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2016.01.033. Epub 2016 Jan 25.

Tissue morphodynamics shaping the early mouse embryo.

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Department of Cell Biology, University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, VA 22908, United States. Electronic address:


Generation of the elongated vertebrate body plan from the initially radially symmetrical embryo requires comprehensive changes to tissue form. These shape changes are generated by specific underlying cell behaviors, coordinated in time and space. Major principles and also specifics are emerging, from studies in many model systems, of the cell and physical biology of how region-specific cell behaviors produce regional tissue morphogenesis, and how these, in turn, are integrated at the level of the embryo. New technical approaches have made it possible more recently, to examine the morphogenesis of the mouse embryo in depth, and to elucidate the underlying cellular mechanisms. This review focuses on recent advances in understanding the cellular basis for the early fundamental events that establish the basic form of the embryo.


Axial elongation; Convergent extension; Gastrulation; Morphogenesis; Mouse; Planar cell polarity

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