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Int J Dev Biol. 1997 Dec;41(6):793-9.

Studies in developmental cytomechanic.

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Department of Embryology, Moscow State University, Russia.


One of the most promising trends in modern developmental and cell biology, recently defined as <<cyto>>, or <<morphomechanics>>, is directed towards revealing the role of mechanical stresses, chemomechanical transduction and active stress responses of cells antissues of developing embryos. We review here the results obtained in this field by our research group and compare them with those from other labs. Our studies relate to the buds of hydroid polypes and to amphibian embryos. We describe the space-temporal patterns of mechanical stresses in these species, analyze their morphogenetical role and the tissue responses to the experimental modulations of stress patterns. In hydroid polypes we explore also the molecular events involved in mechanochemical coupling. A model, linking the passive mechanical stresses with the active stress-responses of embryonic tissues is suggested. We consider these investigations as a first approach to a developing embryo as to an <<active solid body>>.

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