Migration of fetal intestinal intervillous cells in neonatal mice

Anat Rec. 1990 Jun;227(2):199-206. doi: 10.1002/ar.1092270208.


The migration of intestinal intervillous epithelial cells labeled in the fetus was followed in neonatal mice. At 17 days of gestation, a first group of pregnant mice received three intraperitoneal injections of 3H-thymidine (150 microCi/injection) administered at 30 min intervals. Two mothers were sacrificed 3 hours after the first injection. Mice from different litters were also sacrificed on days 0, 2, 4, 8, 12, 14, and 16 after birth. A second group of pregnant mice was injected at 18 1/2 days of gestation and offspring were sacrificed on days 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16 after birth. Segments of duodenum and ileum were fixed in glutaraldehyde, postfixed in osmium tetroxide, dehydrated, and embedded in Epon. Sections were stained with aldehyde fuchsin and processed for radioautography. By following the leading front and trailing edge of labeled cells in the longest villi of the duodenum and ileum, we observed that 1) extrusion zones become active immediately after birth and 2) the longest villi do not elongate until 10 days after birth in the duodenum and 14 days in the ileum, that is, when all labeled epithelial cells originally present in the fetus have been extruded. Moreover, by measuring the distance between the internal limit of the inner circular layer of smooth muscle and the intervillous epithelium at 17 days of gestation (12.95 +/- 1.18 microns) or the bottom of the crypts at day 3 (14.81 +/- 0.91 microns), we propose that crypts do not develop as downgrowths: rather the intervillous epithelium is reshaped and the crypt-villus junction moves upward, away from the muscularis externa.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn / physiology*
  • Cell Movement
  • Duodenum / cytology
  • Fetus / physiology*
  • Ileum / cytology
  • Intestines / cytology*
  • Intestines / ultrastructure
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Microvilli / ultrastructure*