A hydraulic feedback loop between mesendoderm cell migration and interstitial fluid relocalization promotes embryonic axis formation in zebrafish


  • K. Huljev
  • S. Shamipour
  • D. Pinheiro
  • F. Preusser
  • I. Steccari
  • C.M. Sommer
  • S. Naik
  • C.P. Heisenberg


  • Developmental Cell


  • Dev Cell 58 (7): 582-596.e7


  • Interstitial fluid (IF) accumulation between embryonic cells is thought to be important for embryo patterning and morphogenesis. Here, we identify a positive mechanical feedback loop between cell migration and IF relocalization and find that it promotes embryonic axis formation during zebrafish gastrulation. We show that anterior axial mesendoderm (prechordal plate [ppl]) cells, moving in between the yolk cell and deep cell tissue to extend the embryonic axis, compress the overlying deep cell layer, thereby causing IF to flow from the deep cell layer to the boundary between the yolk cell and the deep cell layer, directly ahead of the advancing ppl. This IF relocalization, in turn, facilitates ppl cell protrusion formation and migration by opening up the space into which the ppl moves and, thereby, the ability of the ppl to trigger IF relocalization by pushing against the overlying deep cell layer. Thus, embryonic axis formation relies on a hydraulic feedback loop between cell migration and IF relocalization.