The mode and molecular mechanisms of the migration of presumptive PGC in the endoderm cell mass of Xenopus embryos


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We investigated the mode of migration of presumptive primordial germ cells (pPGC) in the endoderm cell mass of Xenopus embryos at stages 7–40. The molecules underlying the migration were also studied cytochemically and immunocytologically. By examining the relative positions of pPGC and somatic cells derived from the single, fluorescein-dextran lysine (FDL)-injected, germ plasm-bearing cells of stage 6 embryos, pPGC in embryos at stages 7–23 and those at stages later than 24 were assumed to passively and actively migrate in the endoderm cell mass, respectively. This assumption was supported by the observation that F-actin, essential for active cell migration, was recognized on pPGC of the latter stages, but never on those of the former ones. In addition, the molecule like CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) found on directionally migrating PGC in mouse and zebrafish, probably Xenopus CXCR4 (xCXCR4), was detected on pPGC only at latter stages. Accordingly, F-actin and xCXCR4, and probably β1-integrin and collagen type IV, which are indispensable for the formation of F-actin, are thought to be involved in the active migration of pPGC in the endoderm cell mass.