Early Embryonic Cell Fate Decisions in the Mouse

  • Yojiro Yamanaka
  • Amy Ralston
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 695)


During development, initially totipotent cells of the embryo specialize to form discrete tissue lineages. The first lineages to form in the mouse are the extraembryonic tissues. Meanwhile, cells that do not become extraembryonic retain a pluripotent fate since they can give rise to all the germ layers of the fetus. Pluripotent stem cell lines have been derived from the fetal lineage at several stages of development. Interestingly, multipotent stem cell lines have been derived from the extraembryonic lineages around the same time. Examining the regulation of early embryonic cell fate decisions is therefore a rare opportunity to examine establishment of stem cell progenitors. Classical studies have provided considerable insight into specification of the first three lineages and use of modern molecular and imaging techniques has advanced this field further. Here we describe current understanding of the diverse molecular mechanisms that lead to establishment and maintenance of the first three lineages during mouse development.


Stem Cell Line Inner Cell Mass Mouse Blastocyst Primitive Endoderm Inner Cell Mass Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Goodman Cancer Center, Department of Human Genetics, Faculty of MedicineMcGill UniversityMontreal
  2. 2.Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaSanta CruzUSA

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