Ultrastructure of mouse egg-cylinder
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The mouse egg-cylinder prior to and after mesoderm formation was studied by means of electron microscopy. The ultrastructural appearance of the proximal entoderm of both embryonic and extraembryonic segments suggests an intensive absorptive and nutritional activity. Numerous pinocytotic vacuoles, microvilli, primary and secondary lysosomes and fair amounts of rough endoplasmic reticulum and free ribosomes were the most important characteristics of these cells. After mesoderm formation, the extraembryonic entoderm showed the aforementioned characteristics even more prominently, while the cells of embryonic entoderm became flattened and depleted of microvilli and of almost all organelles. The cells of the extraembryonic and embryonic ectoderm prior to and after mesoderm formation had the same ultrastructural appearance as mesodermal cells. The cytoplasm of these cells was replete with free ribosomes, but other organelles such as mitochondria and rough endoplasmic reticulum were few in number. The architecture of all cells of the egg-cylinder except those of the extraembryonic entoderm suggested a very low level of differentiation. The criteria and possibilities for the determination of the degree of differentiation on the ultrastructural level and possible differences in protein synthesis in extraembryonic entoderm as compared with other parts of the embryo are considered.
Key-WordsEgg-cylinder Mouse Germ layers Differentiation
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