Scanning Microscopy


We have examined the segregation and early morphogenesis of the embryonic vasculature by using a monoclonal antibody for immunofluorescence and by scanning electron microscopy. This antibody labels the presumptive endothelial eel ls (PECs) as they segregate from mesoderm. Similar embryos prepared for SEM revealed finer details of how these segregated cells interact to form the rudiments of the major blood vessels. Here we concentrate on the development of the dorsal aortae and the posterior cardinal veins. The dorsal aortae form from single PECs which segregate from the lateral mesoderm and aggregate into a loose cord ventral to the somites. These cells become more closely associated and a lumen forms. The posterior cardinal veins form from a loose plexus of cells segregated from the lateral mesoderm on its dorsal surface. These cells become intimately associated with the Wolffian ducts.

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