Is chemotaxis a factor in the migration of precardiac mesoderm in the chick?
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The chick heart is formed from bilateral patches of presumptive cardiac mesoderm cells which migrate over the endoderm and fuse in the midline. We have tested the possibility that this migration is controlled, at least in part, by a chemotactic substance exuded by the anterior end of the endoderm. We have used chick/quail combinations to follow naturally marked cells during the course of their migration. Chimaeric embryos were formed by fusing together parts of chick and quail embryos of stage 5–6. Each embryo possessed two pairs of precardiac regions, the quail pair lying immediately anterior to that of the chick. These chimaeras were then explanted in embryo culture. In the event of chemotaxis, cells from the posterior end of the quail precardiac mesoderm might be expected to invade the chick area. Samples of explants and chimaeras were examined at intervals from 2 to 24 h, but in no case were cells found to have changed their direction of migration as a result of the proximity of anterior endoderm. It is concluded that this work does not provide evidence for a chemotactic attraction by the anterior end of the endoderm.
Key wordsFibronectin Precardiac mesoderm Cell migration Chemo Chick/quail
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