Slb/Wnt11 controls hypoblast cell migration and morphogenesis at the onset of zebrafish gastrulation

Slb/Wnt11 controls hypoblast cell migration and morphogenesis at the onset of zebrafish gastrulation

Florian Ulrich,1* Miguel L. Concha,2,3* Paul J. Heid,4 Ed Voss,4 Sabine Witzel,1 Henry Roehl,5 Masazumi Tada,2 Stephen W. Wilson,2 Richard J. Adams,6 David R. Soll,4 and Carl-Philipp Heisenberg1†

Development. 2003 November; 130(22): 5375–5384


Summary
During vertebrate gastrulation, highly coordinated cellular rearrangements lead to the formation of the three germ layers, ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm. In zebrafish, silberblick (slb)/wnt11 regulates normal gastrulation movements by activating a signalling pathway similar to the Frizzled-signalling pathway, which establishes epithelial planar cell polarity (PCP) in Drosophila. However, the cellular mechanisms by which slb/wnt11 functions during zebrafish gastrulation are still unclear. Using high-resolution two-photon confocal imaging followed by computer-assisted reconstruction and motion analysis, we have analysed the movement and morphology of individual cells in three dimensions during the course of gastrulation. We show that in slb-mutant embryos, hypoblast cells within the forming germ ring have slower, less directed migratory movements at the onset of gastrulation. These aberrant cell movements are accompanied by defects in the orientation of cellular processes along the individual movement directions of these cells. We conclude that slb/wnt11-mediated orientation of cellular processes plays a role in facilitating and stabilising movements of hypoblast cells in the germ ring, thereby pointing at a novel function of the slb/wnt11 signalling pathway for the regulation of migratory cell movements at early stages of gastrulation.

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