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. 2003 Aug;130(15):3491-501.
doi: 10.1242/dev.00579.

Epiblast and Primitive-Streak Origins of the Endoderm in the Gastrulating Chick Embryo

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Epiblast and Primitive-Streak Origins of the Endoderm in the Gastrulating Chick Embryo

Aaron Lawson et al. Development. .
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Gastrulation is characterized by the extensive movements of cells. Fate mapping is used to follow such cell movements as they occur over time, and prospective fate maps have been constructed for several stages of the model organisms used in modern studies in developmental biology. In chick embryos, detailed fate maps have been constructed for both prospective mesodermal and ectodermal cells. However, the origin and displacement of the prospective endodermal cells during crucial periods in gastrulation remain unclear. This study had three aims. First, we determined the primitive-streak origin of the endoderm using supravital fluorescent markers, and followed the movement of the prospective endodermal cells as they dispersed to generate the definitive endodermal layer. We show that between stages 3a/b and 4, the intraembryonic definitive endoderm receives contributions mainly from the rostral half of the primitive streak, and that endodermal movements parallel those of ingressing adjacent mesodermal subdivisions. Second, the question of the epiblast origin of the endodermal layer was addressed by precisely labeling epiblast cells in a region known to give rise to prospective somitic cells, and following their movement as they underwent ingression through the primitive streak. We show that the epiblast clearly contributes prospective endodermal cells to the primitive streak, and subsequently to definitive endoderm of the area pellucida. Finally, the relationship between the hypoblast and the definitive endoderm was defined by following labeled rostral primitive-streak cells over a short period of time as they contributed to the definitive endoderm, and combining this with in situ hybridization with a riboprobe for Crescent, a marker of the hypoblast. We show that as the definitive endodermal layer is laid down, there is cell-cell intercalation at its interface with the displaced hypoblast cells. These data were used to construct detailed prospective fate maps of the endoderm in the chick embryo, delineating the origins and migrations of endodermal cells in various rostrocaudal levels of the primitive streak during key periods in early development.

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