Coelom formation: Binary decision of the lateral plate mesoderm is controlled by the ectoderm

Noriko Funayama, Yae Sato, Ken Matsumoto, Toshihiko Ogura, Yoshiko Takahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


Most triploblastic animals including vertebrates have a coelomic cavity that separates the outer and inner components of the body. The coelom is lined two different tissue components, somatopleure splanchnopleure, which are derived from the lateral plate region. Thus, the coelom is constructed as a result of a binary decision during early specification of the lateral plate. In this report we studied the molecular mechanisms of this binary decision. We first demonstrate that the splitting of the lateral plate into the two cell sheets progresses in an anteroposterior order and this progression is not coordinated with that of the somitic segmentation. By a series of embryological manipulations we found that young splanchnic mesoderm is still competent to be respecified as somatic mesoderm, and the ectoderm overlying the lateral plate is sufficient for this redirection. The lateral ectoderm is also required for maintenance of the somatic character of the mesoderm. Thus, the ectoderm plays at least two roles in the early subdivision of the lateral plate: specification and maintenance of the somatic mesoderm. We also show that the latter interactions are mediated by BMP molecules that are localized in the lateral ectoderm. Evolutionary aspects of the coelom formation are also considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4129-4138
Number of pages10
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Sept 1
Externally publishedYes


  • BMP4
  • Evolution
  • Mesoderm subdivision
  • Morphogen
  • Tissue interactions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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