Cell junctions in early embryos of squid (Loligo pealei). Academic Article uri icon


  • Squid embryos examined by freeze-fracture and thin-section electron microscopy exhibit identifiable gap junctions during mid-cleavage stages (stages 7-8), and junctional complexes composed of adherent appositions, elaborate septate junctions and gap junctions at slightly later stages (stages 12-13). During germinal layer establishment (stages 12-13) cytoplasmic bridges frequently link the embryonic cells. The presence of gap junctions in cleavage-stage embryos provides the morphological substrate for a demonstrated pathway of direct cell-cell communication that is modifiable by experimental treatments and may be physiologically regulatable. The existence of septate junctions and adherent contacts at later stages suggests that some functional specialization, perhaps the establishment of a strongly joined framework of cells at the surface of the embryo, accompanies the formation of germinal layers.

publication date

  • 1985