Microsurgical Manipulation of the Notochord

  • Lúcia E. Alvares
  • Corinne Lours
  • Amira El-Hanfy
  • Susanne Dietrich
Part of the METHODS IN MOLECULAR BIOLOGY™ book series (MIMB, volume 461)

1. Introduction

Microsurgical manipulations, such as ablation or heterotopic grafting of embryonic tissues, are powerful tools to study tissue interactions that control development. Likewise, microsurgical approaches are useful when candidate signaling molecules applied to beads or expressed by genetically engineered cells lines are being tested for their ability to replace signaling tissues in vivo. Finally, once signaling from particular embryonic tissues is established, these tissues can be used at various sites in the embryo as a reliable source of signaling molecules, expressed at physiological levels.

Among the structures studied in embryological experiments, the notochord, the name-giving structure shared by all animals in the chordate phylum, has received much attention, since its presence is crucial for the development of surrounding tissues. In the overlying neural tube, the notochord induces the ventral midline structure, the floor plate, which subsequently specifies...


Neural Tube Neural Plate Tissue Culture Cell Floor Plate Vitelline Membrane 
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We are indebted to Andrew Lumsden and Cheryll Tickle for patiently teaching the microsurgical procedures described here. The both could have written the chapter better than the authors. S. Dietrich is supported by grants by the BBSRC and The Charitable Fund for Guy's and St. Thomas' Hospitals, C. Lours by a Bourse d'excellence regionale of the region Auvergne, France.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press, a part of Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lúcia E. Alvares
    • 1
  • Corinne Lours
    • 1
  • Amira El-Hanfy
    • 1
  • Susanne Dietrich
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Craniofacial DevelopmentKing's College LondonLondonUK

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