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Int J Dev Biol 2024 Jan 01;681:25-37. doi: 10.1387/ijdb.230273tm.
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Enhancement of neural crest formation by mechanical force in Xenopus development.

Kaneshima T , Ogawa M , Yamamoto T , Tsuboyama Y , Miyata Y , Kotani T , Okajima T , Michiue T .

In vertebrate development, ectoderm is specified into neural plate (NP), neural plate border (NPB), and epidermis. Although such patterning is thought to be achieved by molecular concentration gradients, it has been revealed, mainly by in vitro analysis, that mechanical force can regulate cell specification. During in vivo patterning, cells deform and migrate, and this applies force to surrounding tissues, shaping the embryo. However, the role of mechanical force for cell specification in vivo is largely unknown. In this study, with an aspiration assay and atomic force microscopy, we have demonstrated that tension on ectodermal cells decreases laterally from the midline in Xenopus early neurula. Ectopically applied force laterally expanded the neural crest (NC) region, a derivative of the NPB, whereas force relaxation suppressed it. Furthermore, force application activated both the FGF and Wnt pathways, which are required for NC formation during neuroectodermal patterning. Taken together, mechanical force is necessary for NC formation in order to regulate signaling pathways. Furthermore, molecular signals specify the NP and generate force on neighboring tissue, the NPB, with its closure. This force activates signals, possibly determining the appropriate width of a narrow tissue, the NC.

PubMed ID: 38591691
Article link: Int J Dev Biol

Species referenced: Xenopus
Genes referenced: axin2 foxd3 krt12.4 krt12.5 npb plekhg5 snai2 sox2 sox3
GO keywords: neural crest formation
Antibodies: Tuba1b Ab1

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