Intercellular Communication during Mouse Embryogenesis

  • Gerald M. Kidder


The preimplantation mouse embryo has been the subject of years of intense scrutiny, such that today we have a more complete understanding of its molecular, genetic, cellular, and intercellular control mechanisms than we have for any other mammal. Investigators have been able to manipulate the arrangements of cells in a variety of ways in order to explore the relationships that govern cell commitment and differentiation. Although it is a relatively simple system, we are still far from a complete understanding of the regulatory factors that predispose cells in the late blastocyst to become primitive ectoderm, primitive endoderm and polar or mural trophectoderm. Yet it is already clear that cell interactions involving intercellular communication play an important role. In one way or another, intercellular communication is involved in processes such as the induction of cell polarization (reviewed by Ziomek, Chapter 2), maintenance of the developmental lability of the ICM (Wiley, 1984), regulation of molecular differentiation within the ICM and its derivatives (Monk and Petzoldt, 1976; Hogan and Tilly, 1981), and the control of trophoblast proliferation and secondary giant cell transformation (reviewed by Kaufman, 1983). In addition, there is evidence for restriction of intercellular communication between groups of cells in the early postimplantation embryo which may be involved in the establishment of functional tissue domains (reviewed by Lo, 1980; Schultz, 1985).


Mouse Embryo Intercellular Communication Membrane Channel Cell Flatten Ionic Coupling 
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.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bałakier, H., and Pedersen, R.A., 1982, Allocation of cells to inner cell mass and trophectoderm lineages in preimplantation mouse embryos, Dev. Biol. 90: 352–362.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Caveney, S., 1985, The role of gap junctions in development, Ann. Rev. Physiol. 47: 319–335.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Dermietzel, R., Leibstein, A., Frixen, U., Janssen-Timmen, U., Traub, O., and Willecke, K., 1984, Gap junctions in several tissues share antigenic determinants with liver gap junctions, EMBO J. 3: 2261–2270.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Ducibella, T., and Anderson, E., 1975, Cell shape and membrane changes in the eight-cell mouse embryo: Prerequisites for morphogenesis of the blastocyst, Dev. Biol. 47: 45–58.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Ducibella, T., and Anderson, E., 1979, The effects of calcium deficiency on the formation of the zonula occludens and blastocoel in the mouse embryo, Dev. Biol. 73: 46–58.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Ducibella, T., Albertini, D.F., Anderson, E., and Biggers, J.D., 1975, The preimplantation mammalian embryo: Characterization of intercellular junctions and their appearance during development, Dev. Biol. 45: 231–250.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Edelman, G.M., 1983, Cell adhesion molecules, Science 219: 450–457.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Enders, A.C., and Schlafke, S., 1984, Morphology of development in the primate: Blastocyst to villous placental stage, J. Biosci. 6, Suppl. 2: 53–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Goodall, H., and Johnson, M.H., 1982, Use of carboxyfluorescein diacetate to study formation of permeable channels between mouse blastomeres, Nature (London) 295: 524–526.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Goodall, H., and Johnson, M.H., 1984, The nature of intercellular coupling within the preimplantation mouse embryo, J. Embryol. Exp. Morphol. 79: 53–76.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Graham, R.C., Jr., and Karnovsky, M.J., 1966, The early stages of absorption of injected horseradish peroxidase in the proximal tubules of mouse kidney: Ultrastructural cytochemistry by a new technique, J. Histochem. Cytochem. 14: 291–302.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Granholm, N.H., Brenner, G.M., and Rector, J.T., 1979, Latent effects on in vitro development following cytochalasin B treatment of 8-cell mouse embryos, J. Embryol. Exp. Morphol. 51: 97–108.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Handyside, A.H., 1980, Distribution of antibody-and lectin-binding sites on dissociated blastomeres from mouse morulae: Evidence for polarization at compaction, J. Embryol. Exp. Morphol. 60: 99–116.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Hertzberg, E.L., and Skibbens, R.V., 1984, A protein homologous to the 27,000 Dalton liver gap junction protein is present in a wide variety of species and tissues, Cell 39: 61–69.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hertzberg, E.L., Spray, D.C., and Bennett, M.V.L., 1985, Reduction of gap junctional conductance by microinjection of antibodies against the 27-kDa liver gap junction polypeptide, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 82: 2412–2416.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hogan, B.L.M., and Tilly, R., 1981, Cell interactions and endoderm differentiation in cultured mouse embryos, J. Embryol. Exp. Morphol. 62: 379–394.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Johnson, M.H., and Ziomek, C.A., 1981a, Induction of polarity in mouse 8-cell blastomeres: Specificity, geometry, and stability, J. Cell Biol. 91: 303–308.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Johnson, M.H., and Ziomek, C.A., 1981b, The foundation of two distinct cell lineages within the mouse morula, Cell 24: 71–80.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Johnson, M.H., and Ziomek, C.A., 1983, Cell interactions influence the fate of mouse blastomeres undergoing the transition from the 16-to the 32-cell stage, Dev. Biol. 95: 211–218.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kaufman, M.H., 1983, The origin, properties and fate of trophoblast in the mouse, in: Biology of Trophoblast (Y.W. Loke, and A. Whyte, eds.), Elsevier Science Publishers B.V., Amsterdam, pp. 23–68.Google Scholar
  21. Kidder, G.M., and McLachlin, J.R., 1985, Timing of transcription and protein synthesis underlying morphogenesis in preimplantation mouse embryos, Dev. Biol., 112: 265–275.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kidder, G.M., Green, A.F., and McLachlin, J.R., 1985, On the use of α-amanitin as a transcriptional blocking agent in mouse embryos: A cautionary note, J. Exp. Zool. 233: 155–159.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Kidder, G.M., Rains, J., and McKeon, J., 1986, Gap junction assembly in early mouse embryos is independent of microtubules, microfilaments, cell flattening and cytokinesis, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (submitted).Google Scholar
  24. Kimber, S.J., Surani, M.A.H., and Barton, S.C., 1982, Interactions of blastomeres suggest changes in cell surface adhesiveness during the formation of inner cell mass and trophectoderm in the preimplantation mouse embryo, J. Embryol. Exp. Morphol. 70: 133–152.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Lehtonen, E., 1980, Changes in cell dimensions and intercellular contacts during cleavage-stage cell cycles in mouse embryonic cells, J. Embryol. Exp. Morphol. 58: 231–249.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Levey, I.L., and Brinster, R.L., 1978, Effects of α-amanitin on RNA synthesis by mouse embryos in culture, J. Exp. Zool. 203: 351–359.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lo, C.W., 1980, Gap junctions and development, in: Development in Mammals, Volume 4 (M.H. Johnson, ed.), Elsevier/North-Holland Biomedicai Press, New York, pp. 39–80.Google Scholar
  28. Lo, C.W., and Gilula, N.B., 1979a, Gap junctional communication in the preimplantation mouse embryo, Cell 18: 399–409.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lo, C.W., and Gilula, N.B., 1979b, Gap junctional communication in the postimplantation mouse embryo, Cell 18: 411–422.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Loewenstein, W.R., 1981, Junctional intercellular communication: The cell-to-cell membrane channel, Physiol. Rev. 61: 829–913.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Lopata, A., Kohlman, D., and Johnston, I., 1983, The fine structure of normal and abnormal human embryos developed in culture, in: Fertilization of the Human Egg In Vitro (H.M. Beier, and H.R. Lindner, eds.), Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp. 189–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Magnuson, T., Demsey, A., and Stackpole, C.W., 1977, Characterization of intercellular junctions in the preimplantation mouse embryo by freeze-fracture and thin-section electron microscopy, Dev. Biol. 61: 252–261.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Magnuson, T., Jacobson, J.B., and Stackpole, C.W., 1978, Relation between intercellular permeability and junction organization in the preimplantation mouse embryo, Dev. Biol. 67: 214–224.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. McLachlin, J.R., 1984, Control of compaction and junctional communication in preimplantation mouse embryos, Doctoral Dissertation, The University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.Google Scholar
  35. McLachlin, J.R., and Kidder, G.M., 1981, Genetic control of intercellular communication in the early mouse embryo, J. Cell Biol. 91: 169a.Google Scholar
  36. McLachlin, J.R., and Kidder, G.M., 1986, Intercellular junctional coupling in preimplantation mouse embryos: Effect of blocking transcription or translation, Dev. Biol., in press.Google Scholar
  37. McLachlin, J.R., Caveney, S., and Kidder, G.M., 1983, Control of gap junction formation in early mouse embryos, Dev. Biol. 98: 155–164.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Model, P.G., Jarrett, L.S., and Bonazzoli, R., 1981, Cellular contacts between hindbrain and prospective ear during inductive interaction in the axolotl embryo, J. Embryol. Exp. Morphol. 66: 27–41.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Monk, M., and Petzoldt, U., 1976, Control of inner cell mass development in cultured mouse blastocysts, Nature (London) 265: 338–339.Google Scholar
  40. Moor, R.M., and Cran, D.G., 1980, Intercellular coupling in mammalian oocytes, in: Development in Mammals, Volume 4 (M.H. Johnson, ed.), Elsevier/North-Holland Biomedical Press, New York, pp. 3–37.Google Scholar
  41. Pedersen, R.A., Wu, K., and Bałakier, H., 1986, Origin of the inner cell mass in mouse embryos: cell lineage analysis by microinjection, Dev. Biol., in press.Google Scholar
  42. Randle, B.J., 1982, Cosegregation of monoclonal antibody reactivity and cell behaviour in the mouse preimplantation embryo, J. Embryol. Exp. Morphol. 70: 261–278.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Saxén, L., and Lehtonen, E., 1978, Transfilter induction of kidney tubules as a function of the extent and duration of intercellular contacts, J. Embryol. Exp. Morphol. 47: 97–109.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Saxén, L., Ekblom, P., and Thesleff, I., 1980, Mechanisms of morphogenetic cell interactions, in: Development in Mammals, Volume 4 (M.H. Johnson, ed.), Elsevier/North-Holland Biomedicai Press, New York, pp. 161–202.Google Scholar
  45. Schultz, R.M., 1985, Roles of cell-to-cell communication in development, Biol. Reprod. 32: 27–42.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Shirayoshi, Y., Okada, T.S., and Takeichi, M., 1983, The calcium-dependent cell-cell adhesion system regulates inner cell mass formation and cell surface polarization in early mouse development, Cell 35: 631–638.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Shivers, R.R., and McLachlin, J.R., 1984, Freeze-fracture of 2-cell mouse embryos. A new method for fracture of very small and scarce biological samples, J. Submicrosc. Cytol. 16: 423–430.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Sołtynska, M.S., 1982, The possible mechanism of cell positioning in mouse morulae: An ultrastructural study, J. Embryol. Exp. Morphol. 68: 137–147.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Surani, M.A.H., and Barton, S.C., 1984, Spatial distribution of blastomeres is dependent on cell division order and interactions in mouse morulae, Dev. Biol. 102: 335–343.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Surani, M.A.H., and Handyside, A.H., 1983, Reassortment of cells according to position in mouse morulae, J. Exp. Zool. 225: 505–511.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Surani, M.A.H., Barton, S.C., and Burling, A., 1980, Differentiation of 2-cell and 8-cell mouse embryos arrested by cytoskeletal inhibitors, Exp. Cell Res. 125: 275–286.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Warner, A.E., Guthrie, S.C., and Gilula, N.B., 1984, Antibodies to gap-junctional protein selectively disrupt junctional communication in the early amphibian embryo, Nature (London) 311: 127–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Warner, C.M., 1977, RNA polymerase activity in preimplantation mammalian embryos, in: Development in Mammals, Vol. 1 (M.H. Johnson, ed.), Elsevier/North-Holland Biomedical Press, New York, pp. 99–136.Google Scholar
  54. Warner, C.M., and Hearn, T.F., 1977, The effect of α-amanitin on nucleic acid synthesis in preimplantation mouse embryos, Differentiation 7: 89–97.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Wiley, L.M., 1984, The cell surface of the mammalian embryo during early development, in: Ultrastructure of Reproduction (J. Van Blerkom, and P.M. Motta, eds.), Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Boston, pp. 190–204.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Ziomek, C.A., and Johnson, M.H., 1980, Cell surface interaction induces polarization of mouse 8-cell blastomeres at compaction, Cell 21: 935–942.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gerald M. Kidder
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of Western OntarioLondonCanada

Personalised recommendations