The Cell Sorting Process of Xenopus Gastrula Cells Progresses in a Stepwise Fashion Involving Concentrification and Polarization


Animal pole cells (AC) and vegetal pole cells (VC) dissociated from early Xenopus gastrulae were intermingled, and the cell sorting process occurring within the aggregate was analyzed. The overall process of cell sorting was found to morphologically consist of two steps, “concentrification” and “polarization”, as designated here. First, AC and VC clusters emerged at random positions in the aggregate, and the individual clusters gradually assembled themselves by 5 hours in culture (5 hC), forming a concentric arrangement, in which the AC cluster was enveloped by the VC cluster. This concentrification step is essentially consistent with the descriptions in earlier studies. As the next step, the AC and VC clusters moved up and down from 7.5 to 12 hC, resulting in the vertical polarization, namely, a serial array just like in vivo. Immunohistochemical analyses showed that AC expressed both C- and E-cadherins, while VC only expressed C-cadherin, as in vivo, suggesting the normal participation of cadherin system. On the other hand, the actin localization showed that the actin bundles accumulated at the edge of the AC cluster until the concentrification was completed, and gradually decreased during the polarization step. Another important finding was that AC cluster could generate cartilage tissues during the long-term (7 days) culture, evidence for a healthy inductive interaction between the AC and VC. Taken together, the present experimental system allows the AC and VC to be viable and grow into an embryo-like organization.

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A. Harata, T. Matsuzaki, K. Ozaki and S. Ihara, "The Cell Sorting Process of Xenopus Gastrula Cells Progresses in a Stepwise Fashion Involving Concentrification and Polarization," CellBio, Vol. 2 No. 2, 2013, pp. 54-63. doi: 10.4236/cellbio.2013.22007.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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