Changes in the shape of neuroepithelial cells, particularly apical constriction, are generally thought to play a major role in generating the driving forces for neural tube formation. Our previous study [Nagele and Lee (1987) J. Exp. Zool., 241:197–205] has shown that, in the developing midbrain region of stage 8+ chick embryos, neuroepithelial cells showing the greatest degree of apical constriction are concentrated at sites of enhanced bending of the neuroepithelium (i.e., the floor and midlateral walls of developing neural tube), suggesting that driving forces resulting from apical constriction are concentrated at these sites during closure of the neural tube. In the present study, we have used morphometric methods to 1) measure regional variations in the degree of apical constriction and apical surface folding at selected regions along the anteroposterior axis of stage 8+ chick embryos, which closely resemble the various ontogenetic phases of neural tube formation, and 2) investigate how forces resulting from apical constriction are distributed within the neuroepithelium during transformation of the neural plate into a neural tube. Results show that, during neural tube formation, driving forces resulting from apical constriction are not distributed uniformly throughout the neuroepithelium but rather are concentrated sequentially at three distinct locations: 1) the floor (during transformation of the neural plate to a V‐shaped neuroepithelium), 2) the midlateral walls (during transformation of the V‐shaped neuroepithelium into a C‐shaped neuroepithelium), and 3) the upper walls (during the transformation of the C‐shaped neuroepithelium into a closed neural tube).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology