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Hum Reprod. 2000 Mar;15(3):694-701.

Flow of cells from polar to mural trophectoderm is polarized in the mouse blastocyst.

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Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3PS, UK.


During growth of the blastocyst there is a net flow of cells from the polar to the mural trophectoderm which is presumed to be radially symmetrical. However, such a pattern of cell movement is inconsistent with findings from a recent clonal analysis. To visualize the overall flow of cells directly, the polar trophectoderm of expanding blastocysts was labelled globally with fluorescent microspheres. Following further growth, the great majority of blastocysts that remained labelled throughout the polar trophectoderm exhibited a polarized rather than radial spread of label into the mural region. This was the case regardless of the labelling technique, whether the blastocysts were grown in utero or in vitro, or had the zona pellucida removed or left on. Intriguingly, where there were two foci of spread of label into the mural trophectoderm rather than one, these were diametrically opposite each other. In further experiments, fluorescent lineage labels were used to distinguish junctional trophectoderm cells with and without an extension onto the blastocoelic surface of the inner cell mass. The location of clones formed following further blastocyst growth provided no evidence that egress of cells from the polar trophectoderm is restricted circumferentially by the presence of junctional cells having an extension.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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