During mouse gastrulation, endoderm cells of the dorsal foregut are recruited ahead of the ventral foregut and move to the anterior region of the embryo via different routes. Precursors of the anterior-most part of the foregut and those of the mid- and hind-gut are allocated to the endoderm of the mid-streak-stage embryo, whereas the precursors of the rest of the foregut are recruited at later stages of gastrulation. Loss of Mixl1 function results in reduced recruitment of the definitive endoderm, and causes cells in the endoderm to remain stationary during gastrulation. The observation that the endoderm cells are inherently unable to move despite the expansion of the mesoderm in the Mixl1-null mutant suggests that the movement of the endoderm and the mesoderm is driven independently of one another.
- Definitive endoderm
- Mouse embryo