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Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2005 Dec;6(12):919-28.

Cleavage pattern and emerging asymmetry of the mouse embryo.

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The Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge, CB2 1QR, UK.


Early mammalian development is regulative - it is flexible and responsive to experimental intervention. This flexibility could be explained if embryogenesis were originally completely unbiased and disordered; order and determination of cells only arising later. Alternatively, regulative behaviour could be consistent with the embryo having some order or bias from the very beginning, with inflexibility and cell determination increasing steadily over time. Recent evidence supports the second view and indicates that the sequence and the orientations of cell divisions help to build the first asymmetries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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