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Elife January 15, 2019; 8
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Rapid changes in tissue mechanics regulate cell behaviour in the developing embryonic brain.

Thompson AJ , Pillai EK , Dimov IB , Foster SK , Holt CE , Franze K .

Tissue mechanics is important for development; however, the spatio-temporal dynamics of in vivo tissue stiffness is still poorly understood. We here developed tiv-AFM, combining time-lapse in vivo atomic force microscopy with upright fluorescence imaging of embryonic tissue, to show that during development local tissue stiffness changes significantly within tens of minutes. Within this time frame, a stiffness gradient arose in the developing Xenopus brain, and retinal ganglion cell axons turned to follow this gradient. Changes in local tissue stiffness were largely governed by cell proliferation, as perturbation of mitosis diminished both the stiffness gradient and the caudal turn of axons found in control brains. Hence, we identified a close relationship between the dynamics of tissue mechanics and developmental processes, underpinning the importance of time-resolved stiffness measurements.

PubMed ID: 30642430
PMC ID: PMC6333438
Article link: Elife
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: atoh7 elavl1 nes vim

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Barriga, Tissue stiffening coordinates morphogenesis by triggering collective cell migration in vivo. 2018, Pubmed, Xenbase