The possible involvement of myosin in elevation of neural folds in the chick was studied. Indirect immunofluorescence revealed the presence of myosin in the neuroepithelium as early as the neural‐plate stage and was concentrated in the apical regions of neuroepithelial cells where microfilaments are known to be organized into discrete bundles. This fluorescent pattern persisted until closure of the neural tube. Actin‐specific fluorescence followed a similar distribution pattern as myosin. Diazepam (Valium/Roche), at 400 μg/ml, was found to preferentially inhibit elevation of neural folds in explanted stage 8 embryos within 6 hr of incubation. Affected neuroepithelial cells were often less elongated, contained thinner and less conspicuous microfilament bundles, and had apical surfaces which were smoother and broader than the controls. These morphological changes were accompanied by a considerable reduction in the intensity of myosin‐specific fluorescence, particularly in the cell apices. Results suggest that (1) diazepam inhibits elevation of neural folds through its disruptive effects on the organization and contractility of apical microfilament bundles in developing neuroepithelial cells and (2) myosin may be directly involved in elevation of neural folds.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology