Guidance of primordial germ cell migration by the chemokine SDF-1

Maria Doitsidou, Michal Reichman-Fried, Jürg Stebler, Marion Köprunner, Julia Dörries, Dirk Meyer, Camila V Esguerra, TinChung Leung, Erez Raz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The signals directing primordial germ cell (PGC) migration in vertebrates are largely unknown. We demonstrate that sdf-1 mRNA is expressed in locations where PGCs are found and toward which they migrate in wild-type as well as in mutant embryos in which PGC migration is abnormal. Knocking down SDF-1 or its receptor CXCR4 results in severe defects in PGC migration. Specifically, PGCs that do not receive the SDF-1 signal exhibit lack of directional movement toward their target and arrive at ectopic positions within the embryo. Finally, we show that the PGCs can be attracted toward an ectopic source of the chemokine, strongly suggesting that this molecule provides a key directional cue for the PGCs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)647-59
Number of pages13
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2002


  • Animals
  • Body Patterning
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Polarity
  • Chemokine CXCL12
  • Chemokines, CXC
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Germ Cells
  • Mutation
  • Oligonucleotides, Antisense
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, CXCR4
  • Signal Transduction
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Zebrafish


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