Biomechanics of anteroposterior axis elongation in the chicken embryo

Abstract : In vertebrates, the elongation of the anteroposterior axis is a crucial step during embryonic development as it results in the establishment of the basic body plan. A previous study highlighted the importance of the presomitic mesoderm (PSM) in elongation and showed that a gradient of random cell motility along the anteroposterior axis is necessary for proper elongation of the chicken embryo. It was proposed that a gradient of random cell motility, downstream of a morphogen gradient, drives axis extension. To date, the potential interaction between well-established molecular signaling and physical mechanisms involved in axis elongation remains largely unexplored. In particular, several mechanical questions need to be addressed. First, can the cell motility gradient lead to PSM extension? Second, is the force generated by PSM extension capable of promoting axis elongation? Third, how is PSM extension mechanically coupled with the elongation of all embryonic tissues? In order to tackle these questions, a better description of the mechanical properties of the embryonic tissues is required. Moreover, to assess specific tissues' contribution to elongation, a quantitative analysis of their force production is needed. In this Ph.D. thesis, we measure how the viscoelastic properties of both the PSM and the neural tube vary along the anteroposterior axis. We also demonstrate that isolated PSM explants are capable of autonomous elongation and we measure their contribution to the total force production in the embryo.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 10:38:14 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-02295322, version 2

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Arthur Michaut. Biomechanics of anteroposterior axis elongation in the chicken embryo. Development Biology. Université de Strasbourg, 2018. English. ⟨NNT : 2018STRAJ075⟩. ⟨tel-02295322v2⟩

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