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Dev Biol. 1997 Dec 1;192(1):78-92.

Localized calcium transients accompany furrow positioning, propagation, and deepening during the early cleavage period of zebrafish embryos.

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Department of Biology, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong.


Through the injection of f-aequorin (a calcium-specific luminescent reporter) and the use of an imaging photon detector, we see a distinct localized elevation of intracellular calcium that accompanies the appearance of the first furrow arc at the blastodisc surface: the furrow positioning signal. As the leading edges of the arc progress outward toward the margins of the blastodisc, they are accompanied by two subsurface slow calcium waves moving at about 0.2 micron/s: the furrow propagation signal. As these wave fronts approach the edge of the blastodisc, another calcium signal arises in the central region where the positioning signal originally appeared. Like the propagation signal, it extends outward to the margins of the blastodisc, but in this case it also moves downward, accompanying the deepening process that separates the daughter cells: the furrow deepening signal. Both of these furrow deepening progressions move at around 0.1 to 0.2 micron/s. The deepening signal begins to diminish from the center outward, returning to precleavage resting levels on completion of cytokinesis. The signaling sequence is repeated during the second cell division cycle. These localized transients do not require external calcium and they can be dissipated after they have begun by introducing calcium shuttle buffers, resulting in furrow delocalization and regression. They also occur in parthenogenetically activated eggs in which, in an attenuated form, they accompany abortive cleavages.

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