Developmental Mechanism - Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition
|Embryology - 16 Jul 2019 Expand to Translate|
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The term epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT) refers to a developmental process where an established epithelium either "breaks down" or "delaminates" allowing cells to leave the epithelium and become connective tissue (mesenchymal) in organisation. This transition can be a permanent change, or a transient event, where the mesenchymal cells may reestablish a new epithelial organisation (mesenchymal epithelial transition).
Epithelial cells (organised cellular layer) which loose their organisation and migrate/proliferate as a mesenchymal cells (disorganised cellular layers) are said to have undergone an Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition (EMT).
Mesenchymal cells, connective tissue-like, that have undergone this process may at a later time and under specific signaling can undergo the opposite process, mesenchyme to epithelia. In development, this process can be repeated several times during tissue differentiation.
Some Recent Findings
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This table allows an automated computer search of the external PubMed database using the listed "Search term" text link.
Search term: Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition
<pubmed limit=5>Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition</pubmed>
- Links: gastrulation
Neural Crest Development
- Links: neural crest
During the embryonic period the primary palate fusion, between maxillary process and the frontonasal prominence, requires loss of the epithelial seam.
- Links: palate
|Neonatal Human||Fetal Rabbit|
|Pulmonary neuroendocrine cell (EM)||Neuroepithelial body|
Pulmonary Neuroendocrine Cells (PNECs) differentiate in the airway epithelium in late embryonic to early fetal period. Later in the mid-fetal period clusters of these cells form neuroepithelial bodies (NEBs). The cells migrate to to form these clusters by a process involving transient epithelial to mesenchymal transition. The process of migration has recently been described as “slithering”, where the cells transiently lose epithelial characteristics but remain associated with the membrane while traversing neighboring epithelial cells to reach cluster sites.
The alternate process involves the conversion of the embryonic connective tissue organization (mesenchyme) to an epithelial organization (epithelium) that can occur during developmental processes.
This process can be seen occurring during early somitogenesis.
- Savagner P. (2010). The epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) phenomenon. Ann. Oncol. , 21 Suppl 7, vii89-92. PMID: 20943648 DOI.
- Tseng CH, Murray KD, Jou MF, Hsu SM, Cheng HJ & Huang PH. (2011). Sema3E/plexin-D1 mediated epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in ovarian endometrioid cancer. PLoS ONE , 6, e19396. PMID: 21559368 DOI.
- Martyn I, Kanno TY, Ruzo A, Siggia ED & Brivanlou AH. (2018). Self-organization of a human organizer by combined Wnt and Nodal signalling. Nature , 558, 132-135. PMID: 29795348 DOI.
- Rinon A, Molchadsky A, Nathan E, Yovel G, Rotter V, Sarig R & Tzahor E. (2011). p53 coordinates cranial neural crest cell growth and epithelial-mesenchymal transition/delamination processes. Development , 138, 1827-38. PMID: 21447558 DOI.
- Szabó A & Mayor R. (2018). Mechanisms of Neural Crest Migration. Annu. Rev. Genet. , 52, 43-63. PMID: 30476447 DOI.
- von Gise A & Pu WT. (2012). Endocardial and epicardial epithelial to mesenchymal transitions in heart development and disease. Circ. Res. , 110, 1628-45. PMID: 22679138 DOI.
- Diewert VM & Lozanoff S. (1993). A morphometric analysis of human embryonic craniofacial growth in the median plane during primary palate formation. J. Craniofac. Genet. Dev. Biol. , 13, 147-61. PMID: 8227288
- DiAugustine RP & Sonstegard KS. (1984). Neuroendocrinelike (small granule) epithelial cells of the lung. Environ. Health Perspect. , 55, 271-95. PMID: 6376101
- Cutz E. (1982). Neuroendocrine cells of the lung. An overview of morphologic characteristics and development. Exp. Lung Res. , 3, 185-208. PMID: 6188605
- Cutz E, Gillan JE & Bryan AC. (1985). Neuroendocrine cells in the developing human lung: morphologic and functional considerations. Pediatr. Pulmonol. , 1, S21-9. PMID: 3906540
- Kuo CS & Krasnow MA. (2015). Formation of a Neurosensory Organ by Epithelial Cell Slithering. Cell , 163, 394-405. PMID: 26435104 DOI.
- Cousins FL, Murray A, Esnal A, Gibson DA, Critchley HO & Saunders PT. (2014). Evidence from a mouse model that epithelial cell migration and mesenchymal-epithelial transition contribute to rapid restoration of uterine tissue integrity during menstruation. PLoS ONE , 9, e86378. PMID: 24466063 DOI.
- Patterson AL, Zhang L, Arango NA, Teixeira J & Pru JK. (2013). Mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition contributes to endometrial regeneration following natural and artificial decidualization. Stem Cells Dev. , 22, 964-74. PMID: 23216285 DOI.
Search Pubmed: Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition
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Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2019, July 16) Embryology Developmental Mechanism - Epithelial Mesenchymal Transition. Retrieved from https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Developmental_Mechanism_-_Epithelial_Mesenchymal_Transition
- © Dr Mark Hill 2019, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G