Localization of Brachyury (T) in embryonic and extraembryonic tissues during mouse gastrulation

Gene Expr Patterns. 2006 Oct;6(8):783-93. doi: 10.1016/j.modgep.2006.01.010. Epub 2006 Mar 20.


T-box gene family members have important roles during murine embryogenesis, gastrulation, and organogenesis. Although relatively little is known about how T-box genes are regulated, published gene expression studies have revealed dynamic and specific patterns in both embryonic and extraembryonic tissues of the mouse conceptus. Mutant alleles of the T-box gene Brachyury (T) have identified roles in formation of mesoderm and its derivatives, such as somites and the allantois. However, given the cell autonomous nature of T gene activity and conflicting results of gene expression studies, it has been difficult to attribute a primary function to T in normal allantoic development. We report localization of T protein by sectional immunohistochemistry in both embryonic and extraembryonic tissues during mouse gastrulation, emphasizing T localization within the allantois. T was detected in all previously reported sites within the conceptus, including the primitive streak and its derivatives, nascent embryonic mesoderm, the node and notochord, as well as notochord-associated endoderm and posterior neurectoderm. In addition, we have clarified T within the allantois, where it was first detected in the proximal midline of the late allantoic bud (approximately 7.5 days postcoitum, dpc) and persisted within an expanded midline domain until 6-somite pairs (s; approximately 8.5 dpc). Lastly, we have discovered several novel T sites, including the developing heart, visceral endoderm, extraembryonic ectoderm, and its derivative, chorionic ectoderm. Together, these data provide a unified picture of T in the mammalian conceptus, and demonstrate T's presence in unrelated cell types and tissues in highly dynamic spatiotemporal patterns in both embryonic and extraembryonic tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Allantois / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Chorion / metabolism
  • Ectoderm / metabolism
  • Embryo, Mammalian / metabolism
  • Embryonic Development / physiology
  • Embryonic Structures / metabolism
  • Fetal Proteins / metabolism*
  • Gastrula / metabolism*
  • Heart / embryology
  • Mice / embryology*
  • Myocardium / metabolism
  • Notochord / metabolism
  • T-Box Domain Proteins / metabolism*
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Viscera / embryology
  • Viscera / metabolism


  • Fetal Proteins
  • T-Box Domain Proteins
  • Brachyury protein