Formation of gap and tight junctions between reaggregated blastomeres of the killifish, Fundulus. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Blastomeres from eggs of the killifish, Fundulus, were mechanically dissociated and reaggregated by pelleting in a simple saline solution. Formation of gap and tight junctions was followed by electron microscopy of freeze-fracture replicas. Five to eight min after pelleting, neither new nor old junctions were observed. After 10-15 min, small gap junctions were found, but these were not associated with distinct formation plaques. Larger gap junctions were observed after 45 min, and the images were consistent with growth by accretion of intramembrane particles. In aggregates, after 20 min or more, tight junctions were much more commonly found than in intact blastulae, and it seemed likely that they were being formed by cells that were not doing so in the intact embryo. Initial stages consisted of short strands that appeared to grow in length. Also, more elaborate junctions were seen than occur in situ. Particle-free membrane often occurred near incomplete junctions, and large junctions like those in situ separated particle-rich from particle-free membrane. In this system, the formation of both gap and tight junctions occurs with shorter latency, and is more precisely timed, than heretofore described.

publication date

  • July 1980