The Effects of Epithelial and Somitic Removal on Neural Tube Development in the Chick Embryo

Posted May 26th, 2010 at 3:01 pm.

Adina Cazaban, Aia Hussein, and Jennifer Stundon

Mentor: Dr. Margaret Hollyday

We suggest that the epithelium and somites present in the developing chick embryo have a regulatory impact on the developing neural tube. It has been established that there are signaling proteins released by both the notochord and dorsal epithelium that pattern the neural tube. We hope to investigate the possibility that there are signals released from lateral regions as well that help pattern the neural tube.

We are investigating the role of epithelial and somitic tissue on the proliferation and/or differentiation of the cells lying adjacent in the neural tube. In the ventral region of the neural tube cell proliferation is terminated, while the cells in the dorsal region are still actively participating in the cell cycle. This will be carried out using three different types of surgical procedures: removal of epithelium, removal of epithelium and somites, and the implantation of additional somites. Using the uptake of BRDU and immunocytochemistry as an indicator of cell cycling we will analyze the results of the above surgical procedures. We hypothesize that the somites have an inhibitory effect on cell proliferation whereas the epithelium has either a neutral or growth promoting effect.

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