SEM observations reveal that papaverine, which interferes with Ca2+ flux, inhibits neural fold formation causing a flattening of the cellular surface and a broadening of cellular junctions. Ionophore A23187 and EGTA both counter this effect promoting a rapid cellular constriction which results in the formation of neural ridges and folds as individual cells become uplifted and ruffled. Flame spectrometry data indicate that as Ambystoma maculatum or mexicanum embryos neurulate Ca2+ is released to the medium, a condition which is impeded by papaverine. Ionophore A23187 induces Ca2+ influx whereas EGTA induces an efflux. Since both agents affect similar morphological changes it is suggested that the availability of free Ca2+ is crucial in controlling the morphogenetic movements of neurulation. It is now apparent that neuro-axial development in the urodele is accompanied by a Ca+2 efflux, but the mechanism(s) responsible for the ion's release is unknown.
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