Lookup NU author(s): Dr Miguel Velazquez
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Blastocyst morphogenesis is prepared for even before fertilisation. Information stored within parental gametes can influence both maternal and embryonic gene expression programmes after egg activation at fertilisation. A complex network of intrinsic, cell-cell mediated and extrinsic, embryo-environment signalling mechanisms operates throughout cleavage, compaction and cavitation. These signalling events not only ensure developmental progression, cell differentiation and lineage allocation to inner cell mass (embryo proper) and trophectoderm (future extraembryonic lineages) but also provide a degree of developmental plasticity ensuring survival in prevailing conditions by adaptive responses. Indeed, many cellular functions including differentiation, metabolism, gene expression and gene expression regulation are subject to plasticity with short- or long-term consequences even into adult life. The interplay between intrinsic and extrinsic signals impacting on blastocyst morphogenesis is becoming clearer. This has been best studied in the mouse which will be the focus of this chapter but translational significance to human and domestic animal embryology will be a focus in future years.
Author(s): Eckert JJ, Velazquez MA, Fleming TP
Editor(s): Leese HJ, Brison D
Publication type: Book Chapter
Publication status: Published
Book Title: Cell Signalling During Mammalian Early Embryo Development
Print publication date: 31/05/2015
Series Title: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
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