Cell and Tissue Research

, Volume 252, Issue 3, pp 491–500

Role of cell-cycle in regulating neuroepithelial cell shape during bending of the chick neural plate


  • Jodi L. Smith
    • Department of AnatomyUniversity of Utah, School of Medicine
  • Gary C. Schoenwolf
    • Department of AnatomyUniversity of Utah, School of Medicine

DOI: 10.1007/BF00216636

Cite this article as:
Smith, J.L. & Schoenwolf, G.C. Cell Tissue Res. (1988) 252: 491. doi:10.1007/BF00216636


Neuroepithelial cells transform from spindle-shaped to wedge-shaped within the median and paired dorsolateral hinge points of the bending neural plate, but the mechanisms underlying these localized changes are unclear. This study was designed to evaluate further the hypothesis that localized “wedging” of neuroepithelial cells during bending involves basal cellular expansion resulting from alteration of the cell-cycle. Neurulating chick embryos were treated with tritiated thymidine, and transverse sections through the midbrain were examined autoradiographically. Parameters of the cell-cycle as well as nuclear position and size were assessed in the median hinge point, which contains predominantly wedge-shaped cells, and in adjacent lateral areas of the neural plate, which contain predominantly spindle-shaped cells. Both the DNA-synthetic phase and non-DNA synthetic portion of the cell-cycle were significantly longer in the median hinge point than in lateral neuroepithelial areas, some nuclei in both regions were located basally during these phases, and virtually all basal nuclei in the median hinge point were large. Additionally, the mitotic phase was significantly shorter in the median hinge point than in lateral areas. We present a model to explain how alteration of the cell-cycle in the median hinge point could generate wedging of cells in this region.

Key words

AutoradiographyCell-cycleCell shapeNeural plateNeuroepitheliumNeurulationTritiated thymidineChick

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1988