Patterns of cell division and interkinetic nuclear migration in the chick embryo hindbrain

J Neurobiol. 1991 Oct;22(7):742-54. doi: 10.1002/neu.480220709.


Early in its development, the chick embryo hindbrain manifests an axial series of bulges, termed rhombomeres. Rhombomeres are units of cell lineage restriction, and both they and their intervening boundaries form a series that reiterates various features of neuronal differentiation, cytoarchitecture, and molecular character. The segmented nature of hindbrain morphology and cellular development may be related to early patterns of cell division. These were explored by labeling with BrdU to reveal S-phase nuclei, and staining with basic fuchsin to visualise mitotic cells. Whereas within rhombomeres, S-phase nuclei were located predominantly toward the pial surface of the neuroepithelium, at rhombomere boundaries S-phase nuclei were significantly closer to the ventricular surface. The density of mitotic figures was greater toward the centres of rhombomeres than in boundary regions. Mitotic cells did not show any consistent bias in the orientation of division, either in the centres of rhombomeres, or near boundaries. Our results are consistent with the idea that rhombomeres are centres of cell proliferation, while boundaries contain populations of relatively static cells with reduced rates of cell division.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / analysis
  • Animals
  • Bromodeoxyuridine
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Nucleus / chemistry
  • Chick Embryo
  • Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure
  • Morphogenesis
  • Rhombencephalon / cytology
  • Rhombencephalon / embryology*
  • S Phase
  • Staining and Labeling


  • Actins
  • Bromodeoxyuridine