Magnetic Resonance Microscopy of Embryonic Cell Lineages and Movements

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Abstract

Key events in vertebrate embryogenesis are difficult to observe in many species.Highresolution magnetic resonance imaging was used to follow cell movements and lineages in developing frog embryos. A single cell was injected at the 16-cell stage with a contrast agent, based on the gadolinium chelate gadolinium-diethylenetriamine pentaacetic aciddextran. The labeled progeny cells could be followed uniquely in three-dimensional magnetic resonance images, acquired from the embryo over several days. The results show that external ectodermal and internal mesodermal tissues extend at different rates during amphibian gastrulation and neurulation.

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