Superficial cells in the early gastrula of Rana pipiens contribute to mesodermal derivatives

Dev Biol. 1994 Oct;165(2):702-15. doi: 10.1006/dbio.1994.1286.


We have studied the fate of presumptive mesodermal cells in the early Rana pipiens gastrula. We labeled superficial cells of the early gastrula with 125I. We also labeled all cells in a gastrula with rhodamine-lysine-dextran cell lineage tracer and superficial cells with 125I and then grafted small pieces of the marginal zone orthotopically into unlabeled host embryos. Labeled progeny were identified in sectioned embryos at the tail bud stage. The use of double-labeled grafts allowed us to study the relative contributions by superficial and deep cells to different derivatives. We found that the notochord and somite regions are both derived from the superficial and deep portions of circumblastoporal regions. In contrast, pronephros, lateral plate, cardiac anlagen, and blood cells only arise from deep cells in circumblastoporal regions. Such observations indicate that the fate map for R. pipiens is different from that of Xenopus laevis, where mesodermal derivatives appear to be restricted to the deep layers, and from that of Pleurodeles waltl, where all mesodermal derivatives are formed both from superficial and deep layers. We also have shown that from the neurula stage there is substantial mixing between cells due to the ingression of cells in the dorsal region so that superficial labeled cells, initially located in the roof of the archenteron, contribute to ventral regions of both the somites and notochord.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embryonic Induction
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gastrula / cytology*
  • Kidney / embryology
  • Mesoderm / cytology*
  • Morphogenesis
  • Notochord / cytology
  • Rana pipiens / embryology*