Cells may exchange information with other cells and tissues by exerting forces on the extracellular matrix (ECM). Fibronectin (FN) is an important ECM component that forms fibrils through cell contacts and creates directionally biased geometry. Here, we demonstrate that FN is deposited as pillars between widely separated germ layers, namely the somitic mesoderm and the endoderm, in quail embryos. Alongside the FN pillars, long filopodia protrude from the basal surfaces of somite epithelial cells. Loss-of-function of Ena/VASP, α5β1-integrins or talin in the somitic cells abolished the FN pillars, indicating that FN pillar formation is dependent on the basal filopodia through these molecules. The basal filopodia and FN pillars are also necessary for proper somite morphogenesis. We identified a new mechanism contributing to FN pillar formation by focusing on cyclic expansion of adjacent dorsal aorta. Maintenance of the directional alignment of the FN pillars depends on pulsatile blood flow through the dorsal aortae. These results suggest that the FN pillars are specifically established through filopodia-mediated and pulsating force-related mechanisms.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Developmental Biology