Formation of The Primitive Streak
The primitive streak is formed at the beginning of gastrulation and is found at the junction between the extraembryonic tissue and the epiblast on the posterior side of the embryo and the site of ingression. Formation of the primitive streak is reliant upon nodal signaling within the cells contributing to the primitive streak and BMP4 signaling from the extraembryonic tissue. Furthermore, Cer1 and Lefty1 restrict the primitive streak to the appropriate location by antagonizing nodal signaling. The region defined as the primitive streak continues to grow towards the distal tip.
During the early stages of development, the primitive streak is the structure that will establish bilateral symmetry, determine the site of gastrulation and initiate germ layer formation. To form the streak, reptiles, birds and mammals arrange mesenchymal cells along the prospective midline, establishing the first embryonic axis, as well as the place where cells will ingress and migrate during the process of gastrulation and germ layer formation. The primitive streak, extends through this midline and creates the antero-posterior body axis, becoming the first symmetry-breaking event in the embryo, and marks the beginning of gastrulation. This process involves the ingression of mesoderm and endoderm progenitors and their migration to their ultimate position, where they will differentiate into the three germ layers.
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