Lineage development and polar asymmetries in the peri-implantation mouse blastocyst

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2004 Oct;15(5):573-81. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2004.04.003.


The early events of mouse embryogenesis lead to the formation of three distinct cell lineages by the blastocyst: the pluripotent epiblast and the two extraembryonic lineages, the trophoblast and primitive endoderm. Segregation of the lineages depends on the relative levels of expression of key transcription factors, whose localized expression must be controlled by the earlier events of compaction and polarization of the morula. Soon after lineage specification, the two extraembryonic lineages show evidence of early polarities that may relate to the polarity of the postimplantation embryo at gastrulation. The exact relationship between lineage segregation, preimplantation polarities and the postimplantation axes remain to be determined but are now open to molecular and cellular investigation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blastocyst / cytology
  • Blastocyst / physiology*
  • Body Patterning / physiology*
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Lineage / physiology*
  • Ectoderm / physiology
  • Endoderm / physiology
  • Mice
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / physiology