The role of the cell surface in the migration of primordial germ cells in early chick embryos: effects of concanavalin A

H. Lee, N. Karasanyi, R. G. Nagele

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17 Scopus citations


Effects of concanavalin A (Con A) on the morphology and migration of primordial germ cells (PGCs) in stage-6 to -12 chick embryos were investigated. Con A, at a sublethal dose (10 μg/ml), inhibited migration of PGCs from the germinal crescent area to other parts of the embryo. Affected PGCs were more rounded without the usual cytoplasmic extensions, but the integrity of other structures was unaffected. Nearly identical results were obtained with another lectin, wheat germ agglutinin (10 μg/ml). Histochemistry using Con A-horseradish peroxidase revealed that PGCs in control embryos had a thin, rather uniform layer of extracellular coat material (ECM). Con A appeared to alter the distribution of ECM on PGCs, i.e. some parts of the cell surface were devoid of any detectable ECM, while others had small, scattered patches of ECM. Con A effects were alleviated by α-methyl-D-mannoside. Overall results of the present study indicated that the observed inhibition of PGC migration in early chick embryos is a consequence of Con A-induced alterations of cell surface properties.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)5-20
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Embryology and Experimental Morphology
StatePublished - 1978
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Embryology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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