Transfer of extracellular matrix components between germ layers in chimaeric chicken-quail blastoderms

Cell Tissue Res. 1985;239(3):643-9. doi: 10.1007/BF00219243.


A chemical basis for the transmission of signals during gastrulation has been investigated by using chimaeric embryos resulting from the combination of 3H-glucosamine-labelled and unlabelled hypoblast with epiblast taken from chicken and quail embryos at stage 3 of Vakaet (1970). The ability to distinguish chicken from quail cells on the basis of their different nuclear distribution of heterochromatin after Feulgen staining made it possible to determine the origin of the cells in the chimaerae. Tritiated quail hypoblast (after incubation of the embryo in the presence of 3H-glucosamine) was transplanted onto unlabelled chicken blastoderm deprived of its hypoblast. After culture of the chimaera for 5 h, the autoradiographic pattern shows silver grains not only over the graft, but also at the ventral surface of the epiblast of the host. Transfer of label may occur to mesoblast cells, but not between chicken and quail hypoblast cells. Chase experiments exclude the possibility that unprocessed, tritiated glucosamine is transferred. Chemical fixation of the host before transplantation of a labelled quail hypoblast also allows visualization of a transfer of macromolecules from hypoblast to the basement membrane of the epiblast, suggesting that an intervention of the epiblast cells in this process is not necessary. The morphology of the chimaeric embryos, as studied by scanning electron microscopy, suggests a direct deposition of these macromolecules by filopodia of the dorsal surface of the hypoblast. The possibility of diffusion of free macromolecules has been considered and can reasonably be discarded on the basis of several observations.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blastoderm / ultrastructure*
  • Chick Embryo
  • Chimera
  • Coturnix / embryology
  • Extracellular Matrix / ultrastructure*