Intercellular Communication during Mouse Embryogenesis
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).
KeywordsMouse Embryo Intercellular Communication Membrane Channel Cell Flatten Ionic Coupling
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