Changes in cell surface morphology of the neuroepithelium during fusion of neural folds in the chick were studied. As the folds were about to meet, a thick extra cellular coat material (ECM) appeared between the two leading edges. Cell membranes forming the fusion area were relatively smooth and heavily coated with ECM. By contrast, the apical surface of most cells lining the wall of the neural tube was folded with much less ECM. During the contact of neural folds, ECM was displaced from the space between the two leading edges, leaving a thin, closely adherent “typical” cell surface coat. Trypsin and concanavalin A inhibited proper alignment and fusion of apposing neural folds by modifying the surface of developing neuroepithelium. Results of this study support a hypothesis that ECM may serve temporarily as an adhesive to bind together the leading edges of neural folds until establishment of more intimate contacts (junctional complexes).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology