Cell polarity in sea urchin embryos: reorientation of cells occurs quickly in aggregates.
Four apical components were used as markers for the apical end of the cell in studies centering on cell polarity in the early blastula stage of sea urchin embryos and in aggregates of cleavage stage cells. Cells were observed to maintain their polarity for several hours if dissociated and cultured in suspension. Orientation of cells in aggregates initially is random; however, within 3 hr the cells have reoriented so that their apical-basal axis corresponds to the correct inside-outside position in the aggregate. This reorientation occurs before formation of a basal lamina or a new hyalin layer in the aggregate, and appears to take place by a rotation or other movement of individual cells. The polarity within each cell is maintained during reorientation. An apical surface antigen is colocalized with concentrations of filamentous actin. Treatment of isolated cells with cytochalasin B causes the antigen to lose its apical position and eventually become distributed around the outside of the cell. Microtubules are visible radiating from two foci closely associated with the nucleus in untreated cells. Treatment of isolated cells with nocodazole leaves the apical cell surface marker and its associated actin undisturbed, but causes the nucleus to lose its apical position. Cytochalasin B and colchicine both prevent reorientation of cells in aggregates. Thus polarity appears to be a constant for the cells, and their reorientation in aggregates occurs prior to the polarized release of extraembryonic matrix and basal lamina.
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