Neuroepithelial cells change shape from spindle‐like to wedge‐like within three restricted areas (hinge points) of the bending neural plate. The mechanisms underlying these localized cell shape changes and the specific role that these changes play in bending are nuclear. This study was designed to determine whether changes in neuroepithelial cell shape involve basal cellular expansion owing to alteration of the cell cycle. Neurulating chick embryos were treated with colchicine to arrest and accumulate cells in metaphase, and colchicine indices and cell generation times were calculated for the neural plate. During bending of the neural plate, cell generation time in the median hinge point, which contains predominantly wedge‐shaped cells, was significantly longer than that in adjacent lateral areas of the neural plate, which contain predominantly spindle‐shaped cells. In addition, cell generation time in the flat neural plate, which contains predominantly spindle‐shaped cells and has not yet differentiated into the median hinge point and lateral subdivisions, was identical to that in lateral areas of the bending neural plate but was significantly shorter than that in the median hinge point. These results support the hypothesis that changes in neuroepithelial cell shape from spindle‐like to wedge‐like involve basal cellular expansion owing to alteration of the cell cycle. Additional tests of this hypothesis and studies on the role of localized cell shape changes in neurulation are in progress.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)