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Journal of Anatomy

Hen G.;  Sela-Donenfeld D.

Despite the importance of the chicken as a model system, our understanding of the development of chicken primordial germ cells (PGCs) is far from complete. Here we characterized the morphology of PGCs at different developmental stages, their migration pattern in the dorsal mesentery of the chicken embryo, and the distribution of the EMA1 epitope on PGCs. The spatial distribution of PGCs during their migration was characterized by immunofluorescence on whole-mounted chicken embryos and on paraffin sections, using EMA1 and chicken vasa homolog antibodies. While in the germinal crescent PGCs were rounded and only 25% of them were labeled by EMA1, often seen as a concentrated cluster on the cell surface, following extravasation and migration in the dorsal mesentery PGCs acquired an elongated morphology, and 90% exhibited EMA1 epitope, which was concentrated at the tip of the pseudopodia, at the contact sites between neighboring PGCs. Examination of PGC migration in the dorsal mesentery of Hamburger and Hamilton stage 20-22 embryos demonstrated a left-right asymmetry, as migration of cells toward the genital ridges was usually restricted to the right, rather than the left, side of the mesentery. Moreover, an examination of another group of cells that migrate through the dorsal mesentery, the enteric neural crest cells, revealed a similar preference for the right side of the mesentery, suggesting that the migratory pathway of PGCs is dictated by the mesentery itself. Our findings provide new insights into the migration pathway of PGCs in the dorsal mesentery, and suggest a link between EMA1, PGC migration and cell-cell interactions. These findings may contribute to a better understanding of the mechanism underlying migration of PGCs in avians.

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Primordial germ cells in the dorsal mesentery of the chicken embryo demonstrate left-right asymmetry and polarized distribution of the EMA1 epitope
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Hen G.;  Sela-Donenfeld D.

Primordial germ cells in the dorsal mesentery of the chicken embryo demonstrate left-right asymmetry and polarized distribution of the EMA1 epitope .

Despite the importance of the chicken as a model system, our understanding of the development of chicken primordial germ cells (PGCs) is far from complete. Here we characterized the morphology of PGCs at different developmental stages, their migration pattern in the dorsal mesentery of the chicken embryo, and the distribution of the EMA1 epitope on PGCs. The spatial distribution of PGCs during their migration was characterized by immunofluorescence on whole-mounted chicken embryos and on paraffin sections, using EMA1 and chicken vasa homolog antibodies. While in the germinal crescent PGCs were rounded and only 25% of them were labeled by EMA1, often seen as a concentrated cluster on the cell surface, following extravasation and migration in the dorsal mesentery PGCs acquired an elongated morphology, and 90% exhibited EMA1 epitope, which was concentrated at the tip of the pseudopodia, at the contact sites between neighboring PGCs. Examination of PGC migration in the dorsal mesentery of Hamburger and Hamilton stage 20-22 embryos demonstrated a left-right asymmetry, as migration of cells toward the genital ridges was usually restricted to the right, rather than the left, side of the mesentery. Moreover, an examination of another group of cells that migrate through the dorsal mesentery, the enteric neural crest cells, revealed a similar preference for the right side of the mesentery, suggesting that the migratory pathway of PGCs is dictated by the mesentery itself. Our findings provide new insights into the migration pathway of PGCs in the dorsal mesentery, and suggest a link between EMA1, PGC migration and cell-cell interactions. These findings may contribute to a better understanding of the mechanism underlying migration of PGCs in avians.

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