Analysis of in vivo cell movement using transparent tissue systems

J Cell Sci Suppl. 1987;8:395-413. doi: 10.1242/jcs.1987.supplement_8.22.


The embryos of certain teleost species are transparent and cell behaviour within the intact embryo can be observed and recorded using Nomarski microscopy coupled with time-lapse video recording or time-lapse cine filming. In this report we review some of our recent analyses of cell behaviour patterns underlying key morphogenetic events. (1) Contact-guided cell migration through a structurally ordered extracellular matrix during fin development; (2) movement of tissue layers during epibolic overgrowth; and (3) cell 'social' behaviour during the establishment of the body axis (i.e. notochord formation and somitogenesis). These results, on cell behaviour correlated with normal morphogenesis, provide a baseline for further work in which hypotheses concerning subcellular and molecular controls of cell behaviour can be tested by experimental perturbation in vivo.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement
  • Embryo, Mammalian / ultrastructure
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / physiology*
  • Fishes
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Morphogenesis*