The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 37: 459 - 466 (1993)

Vol 37, Issue 3

Mechanism of closure of experimental excision-wounds in the bare upper layer of the chick blastoderm

Published: 30 November -0001

H Bortier, S Vandevelde and L C Vakaet

Department of Anatomy, Embryology, Histology, University of Gent, Belgium.


The closure of experimental excision-wounds in the upper layer of the gastrulating chick blastoderm was studied by time-lapse videography and videomicrography and by light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. One experimental excision-wound was made in the upper layer of stages 4V to 6V blastoderms (Vakaet, Arch. Biol. (Liège) 81:387-426, 1970), in the proamnion where no middle layer cells are present. The deep layer was previously discarded, so that the wounds were made in the bare upper layer. They closed within 2 to 6 hours and further development was normal by in vitro standards. With videography, global movements of the upper layer towards the wound were observed. With videomicrography, the wound submarginal region cells were seen to move like sheep in a flock: individual cells in different directions, the whole flock towards the wound. During closure the shape of the wound edge was irregular. The structure of the epithelium of the wound submarginal region was unchanged throughout closure: a pseudostratified columnar epithelium in which cell divisions occur at its dorsal side and are parallel to its surface. The basal lamina was absent below the edge of the wounds. We propose that the cells of the upper layer are mobile against one another and are not confined to a specific part of the basal lamina. During wound closure the movements of the cells on the basal lamina would be driven by mitotic pressure. This is the horizontal pressure exerted by the addition of daughter cells and their parting during anaphase and telophase.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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