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Force-producing convergence (narrowing) and extension (lengthening) of tissues by active intercalation of cells along the axis of convergence play a major role in axial morphogenesis during embryo development in both vertebrates and invertebrates, and failure of these processes in human embryos leads to defects including spina bifida and anencephaly. Here(More)
Vertebrate neural tube formation involves two distinct morphogenetic events--convergent extension (CE) driven by mediolateral cell intercalation, and bending of the neural plate driven largely by cellular apical constriction. However, the cellular and molecular biomechanics of these processes are not understood. Here, using tissue-targeting techniques, we(More)
Epithelial fusion is a crucial process in embryonic development, and its failure underlies several clinically important birth defects. For example, failure of neural fold fusion during neurulation leads to open neural tube defects including spina bifida. Using mouse embryos, we show that cell protrusions emanating from the apposed neural fold tips, at the(More)
A simplified method of studying the surfacing reaction of goldfish to hallucinogens is described. Goldfish weighing up to three grams are injected intracranially. Employing this method, d-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD-25), d-2-acetyl lysergic acid diethylamide (ALD-52), 1-methyl d-lysergic acid butano-lamide (UML-491), and 5-methoxy dimethyl tryptamine(More)
Neural tube closure has been studied for many decades, across a range of vertebrates, as a paradigm of embryonic morphogenesis. Neurulation is of particular interest in view of the severe congenital malformations - 'neural tube defects' - that result when closure fails. The process of neural tube closure is complex and involves cellular events such as(More)
Neural induction is widely believed to be a direct consequence of inhibition of BMP pathways. Because of conflicting results and interpretations, we have re-examined this issue in Xenopus and chick embryos using the powerful and general TGFbeta inhibitor, Smad7, which inhibits both Smad1- (BMP) and Smad2- (Nodal/Activin) mediated pathways. We confirm that(More)
Adhesion and fusion of epithelial sheets marks the completion of many morphogenetic events during embryogenesis. Neural tube closure involves an epithelial fusion sequence in which the apposing neural folds adhere initially via cellular protrusions, proceed to a more stable union, and subsequently undergo remodeling of the epithelial structures to yield a(More)