Buffalo rat liver cells produce factors that support preimplantation development of mouse embryos cultured in vitro

Comp Med. 2005 Feb;55(1):61-6.


To examine the effects of buffalo rat liver (BRL) cells on the preimplantation development of mouse embryos in vitro, we first cultured two-cell mouse embryos alone in serum-free Dulbecco modified Eagle medium. As expected, the embryos did not develop to subsequent stages. However, when cocultured with BRL cells, the embryos developed to the blastocyst stage efficiently. Direct contact of embryos with BRL cells was not necessary for development: the medium conditioned by BRL cells contained soluble factors that supported the preimplantation development of mouse embryos. Embryos cultured with BRL-conditioned medium that was replaced at various intervals had a further increased rate of development to the blastocyst stage. This finding indicated that the activities of the factors were maintained only briefly. Seven proteins between 35 and 44 kDa that were detected in the medium were highly beneficial to the development of the embryos. Follistatin-related protein and pigment epithelium-derived factor are believed to be the factors supporting embryo development. The other five proteins also may improve the environment for the development of mouse embryos cultured in vitro.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Blastocyst / cytology
  • Blastocyst / physiology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Culture Media, Conditioned / chemistry*
  • Culture Media, Serum-Free
  • Female
  • Hepatocytes / cytology
  • Hepatocytes / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Molecular Weight
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred BUF*


  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Culture Media, Serum-Free