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Biomech Model Mechanobiol January 1, 2016; 15 (6): 1733-1746.

Mechanical roles of apical constriction, cell elongation, and cell migration during neural tube formation in Xenopus.

Inoue Y , Suzuki M , Watanabe T , Yasue N , Tateo I , Adachi T , Ueno N .

Neural tube closure is an important and necessary process during the development of the central nervous system. The formation of the neural tube structure from a flat sheet of neural epithelium requires several cell morphogenetic events and tissue dynamics to account for the mechanics of tissue deformation. Cell elongation changes cuboidal cells into columnar cells, and apical constriction then causes them to adopt apically narrow, wedge-like shapes. In addition, the neural plate in Xenopus is stratified, and the non-neural cells in the deep layer (deep cells) pull the overlying superficial cells, eventually bringing the two layers of cells to the midline. Thus, neural tube closure appears to be a complex event in which these three physical events are considered to play key mechanical roles. To test whether these three physical events are mechanically sufficient to drive neural tube formation, we employed a three-dimensional vertex model and used it to simulate the process of neural tube closure. The results suggest that apical constriction cued the bending of the neural plate by pursing the circumference of the apical surface of the neural cells. Neural cell elongation in concert with apical constriction further narrowed the apical surface of the cells and drove the rapid folding of the neural plate, but was insufficient for complete neural tube closure. Migration of the deep cells provided the additional tissue deformation necessary for closure. To validate the model, apical constriction and cell elongation were inhibited in Xenopus laevis embryos. The resulting cell and tissue shapes resembled the corresponding simulation results.

PubMed ID: 27193152
PMC ID: PMC5106510
Article link: Biomech Model Mechanobiol

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: ddx59
Morpholinos: mid1 MO1 shroom3 MO1

Article Images: [+] show captions
References [+] :
Clarke, Role of polarized cell divisions in zebrafish neural tube formation. 2009, Pubmed