Measurement of junctional tension in epithelial cells at the onset of primitive streak formation in the chick embryo via non-destructive optical manipulation.

Palgrave Macmillan
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Development: the journal of the Society for International Development, 2020, 147, (3)
Issue Date:
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Directional cell intercalations of epithelial cells during gastrulation has in several organisms been shown to be associated with a planar cell polarity in the organisation of the actin-myosin cytoskeleton and is postulated to reflect directional tension that drives oriented cell intercalations. We have characterised and applied a recently introduced non-destructive optical manipulation technique to measure the tension in individual epithelial cell junctions of cells in various locations and orientations in the epiblast of chick embryos in the early stages of primitive streak formation. Junctional tension of mesendoderm precursors in the epiblast is higher in junctions oriented in the direction of intercalation than in junctions oriented perpendicular to the direction of intercalation and higher than in junctions of other cells in the epiblast. The kinetic data are fitted best with a simple visco-elastic Maxwell model and we find that junctional tension and to a lesser extent viscoelastic relaxation time are dependent on myosin activity.
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