A Scanning Electron Microscope Study of Cell Shape and Cell Appendages in the Primitive Streak Region of the Rat and Chick Embryo

Differentiation. 1978;11(3):185-90. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-0436.1978.tb00983.x.


This report provides a scanning electron microscopic account of cell shapes and cell appendages that are observed in the primitive streak region of the rat and chick embryos. Epiblast cells become progressively elongated in the primitive streak region until flask cells predominate medially. The flask cells have a broad basal end directed toward the endoderm. In addition to fine filopodia, broad lamellipodia are found anchoring the flask cells to subjacent cells. The primary mesenchyme cells are at first round in shape and closely packed, but laterally are flattened and more dispersed. The mesenchyme cells are associated with each other by filopodia and lamellipodia and with the epiblast and endoderm by filopodia. On the basis of this description it is suggested that cell movement through the primitive streak occurs by cell extension, attachment by basal lamellipodia, and cell shortening that results in the movement of individual cells in a cell stream.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Cell Movement*
  • Chick Embryo
  • Embryo, Mammalian / cytology
  • Embryo, Mammalian / ultrastructure*
  • Mesoderm / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Microvilli / ultrastructure
  • Rats / embryology