Maya-Ramos, Mikawa (2020) Programmed cell death along the midline axis patterns ipsilaterality in gastrulation Science (New York, N.Y.) 367(6474) 197-200


Bilateral symmetry is the predominant body plan in the animal kingdom. Cells on the left and right sides remain compartmentalized on their ipsilateral side throughout life, but with occasional variation, as evidenced by gynandromorphs and human disorders. How this evolutionarily conserved body plan is programmed remains a fundamental yet unanswered question. Here, we show that germ-layer patterning in avian gastrulation is ipsilateral despite cells undergoing highly invasive mesenchymal transformation and cell migration. Contralateral invasion is suppressed by extracellular matrix (ECM) and programmed cell death (PCD) along the embryonic midline. Ipsilateral gastrulation was lost by midline ECM and PCD inhibition but restored with exogenously induced PCD. Our data support ipsilaterality as an integral component of bilaterality and highlight a positive functional role of PCD in development. Copyright © 2020 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.