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Keywords:

  • gastrulation;
  • multicellular rosette;
  • Nodal signal;
  • Polonaise movements;
  • prestreak chick epiblast

During axis formation in amniotes, posterior and lateral epiblast cells in the area pellucida undergo a counter-rotating movement along the midline to form primitive streak (Polonaise movements). Using chick blastoderms, we investigated the signaling involved in this cellular movement in epithelial-epiblast. In cultured posterior blastoderm explants from stage X to XI embryos, either Lefty1 or Cerberus-S inhibited initial migration of the explants on chamber slides. In vivo analysis showed that inhibition of Nodal signaling by Lefty1 affected the movement of DiI-marked epiblast cells prior to the formation of primitive streak. In Lefty1-treated embryos without a primitive streak, Brachyury expression showed a patchy distribution. However, SU5402 did not affect the movement of DiI-marked epiblast cells. Multi-cellular rosette, which is thought to be involved in epithelial morphogenesis, was found predominantly in the posterior half of the epiblast, and Lefty1 inhibited the formation of rosettes. Three-dimensional reconstruction showed two types of rosette, one with a protruding cell, the other with a ventral hollow. Our results suggest that Nodal signaling may have a pivotal role in the morphogenetic movements of epithelial epiblast including Polonaise movements and formation of multi-cellular rosette.