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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2004 Oct;15(5):583-97.

Lineage allocation and cell polarity during mouse embryogenesis.

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Department of Anatomy, Downing Street, Cambridge CB2 3DY, UK.


The first developmental lineage allocation during the generation of the mouse blastocyst is to outer trophoblast or to inner pluriblast (inner cell mass; ICM) cells. This allocation seems to be initiated at the 8-cell stage, when blastomeres polarise. Polarisation is followed by differentiative divisions at the subsequent two cleavage divisions to generate polar outer and non-polar inner 16- and 32-cells. The key events in polarisation are regulated post-translationally through a cell contact-mediated pathway, which imposes a heritable determinant-like organisation on the blastomere cortex. Two proteins in particular, E-cadherin and ezrin, are intimately involved in the generation and stabilisation of developmentally significant information. Transcriptional differences between lineages appear to follow and may coincide with the lineage commitment of cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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