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Forsyth scientists gain greater understanding of how embryos differentiate left from right

flux, by increasing or decreasing it on both sides equally, both randomized the location of the viscera without causing any other defects. To understand the mechanism of action of H+-V-ATPase, researchers isolated its two physiological functions, cytoplasmic pH and membrane voltage gradient (Vmem) regulation. Varying either pH or Vmem, independently of direct manipulation of H+-V-ATPase, caused disruptions of the normal LR pattern, suggesting important roles for both physiological parameters. V-ATPase inhibition also abolished the normal localization of serotonin at the 16-cell stage, suggesting that it helps to regulate the early flow of this important neurotransmitter. These data implicate H+-V-ATPase activity in patterning the left right axis of three different vertebrates, reveal mechanisms both upstream and downstream of its activity, and identify a novel role for this important ion transporter. Based on these observations, they proposed a detailed pH- and Vmem-dependent model of the early physiology of left/right patterning.

Michael Levin, PhD. is an Associate Member of the Staff in The Forsyth Institute Department of Cytokine Biology and the Director of the Forsyth Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology, http://www.cellregeneration.org/. Through experimental approaches and mathematical modeling, Dr. Levin and his team examine the processes governing large-scale pattern formation and biological information storage during animal embryogenesis. The lab's investigations are directed toward understanding the mechanisms of signaling between cells and tissues that allows a living system to reliably generate and maintain a complex morphology. The Levin team studies these processes in the context of embryonic development and regeneration, with a particular focus on the biophysics of cell behavior.


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Source:Forsyth Institute


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