Cell rearrangements during development of the somite and its derivatives

Chaya Kalcheim*, Raz Ben-Yair

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The generation of somites, and the subsequent formation of their major derivatives, muscle-, cartilage-, dermis- and tendon-cell lineages, is tightly orchestrated and, to different extents, these are also mutually supporting processes. They involve complex and timely reorganizations of the paraxial mesoderm, such as multiple phases of epithelial-mesenchymal rearrangements and vice-versa, cellular movements and migrations, and modifications of both cell shape and cell cycle properties. These morphogenetic changes are triggered by local environmental signals and are tightly associated to a genetic program imparting cell-specific fates. Elucidating these signals and their downstream effectors, in addition to determining the state of specification of responsive cell subsets and that of single progenitors in the various domains, is only beginning.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)371-380
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Opinion in Genetics and Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Nitza Kahane and Yuval Cinnamon for helpful discussions. This work was supported by grants from the Israel Science Foundation (ISF#485/01-2), the March of Dimes, Israel Cancer Research Fund and Deutche Forschungsgemeinshaft, Collaborative Research Centre 488 to CK.


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