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Mech Dev. 1997 Dec;69(1-2):71-81.

Neuroepithelial cells downregulate their plasma membrane polarity prior to neural tube closure and neurogenesis.

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Department of Neurobiology, University of Heidelberg, Germany.


Cell differentiation often involves changes in cell polarity. In this study we show that neuroepithelial cells, the progenitors of all neurons and macroglial cells of the vertebrate central nervous system, downregulate the polarized delivery to the apical and basolateral plasma membrane domains during development. Upon infection of the neuroepithelium of mouse embryos with fowl plague virus (FPV), polarized delivery of the viral envelope hemagglutinin, an apical marker, occurred at the neural plate stage (E8), but was downregulated at the open neural tube stage (E9). Upon infection with vesicular stomatitis virus, the viral envelope G protein, a basolateral marker, showed an unpolarized delivery not only at the open neural tube stage, but already at the neural plate stage. These results show that a progressive downregulation of plasma membrane polarity of neuroepithelial cells precedes neural tube closure and the onset of neurogenesis.

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