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Mol Biol Cell. 2017 Dec 1;28(25):3582-3594. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E17-01-0060. Epub 2017 Oct 4.

Geometric constraints alter cell arrangements within curved epithelial tissues.

Author information

1
Mechanobiology Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117411.
2
IInstitute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star), Biopolis 138673, Singapore.
3
IInstitute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star), Biopolis 138673, Singapore dbsste@nus.edu.sg wmyu@imcb.a-star.edu.sg.
4
Mechanobiology Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117411 dbsste@nus.edu.sg wmyu@imcb.a-star.edu.sg.
5
Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117411.

Abstract

Organ and tissue formation are complex three-dimensional processes involving cell division, growth, migration, and rearrangement, all of which occur within physically constrained regions. However, analyzing such processes in three dimensions in vivo is challenging. Here, we focus on the process of cellularization in the anterior pole of the early Drosophila embryo to explore how cells compete for space under geometric constraints. Using microfluidics combined with fluorescence microscopy, we extract quantitative information on the three-dimensional epithelial cell morphology. We observed a cellular membrane rearrangement in which cells exchange neighbors along the apical-basal axis. Such apical-to-basal neighbor exchanges were observed more frequently in the anterior pole than in the embryo trunk. Furthermore, cells within the anterior pole skewed toward the trunk along their long axis relative to the embryo surface, with maximum skew on the ventral side. We constructed a vertex model for cells in a curved environment. We could reproduce the observed cellular skew in both wild-type embryos and embryos with distorted morphology. Further, such modeling showed that cell rearrangements were more likely in ellipsoidal, compared with cylindrical, geometry. Overall, we demonstrate that geometric constraints can influence three-dimensional cell morphology and packing within epithelial tissues.

PMID:
28978739
PMCID:
PMC5706987
DOI:
10.1091/mbc.E17-01-0060
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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