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J Cell Commun Signal. 2012 Dec;6(4):217-23. doi: 10.1007/s12079-012-0176-0. Epub 2012 Aug 28.

CCN5 Expression in mammals. III. Early embryonic mouse development.

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Program in Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA.


CCN proteins play crucial roles in development, angiogenesis, cell motility, matrix turnover, proliferation, and other fundamental cell processes. Early embryonic lethality in CCN5 knockout and over-expressing mice led us to characterize CCN5 distribution in early development. Previous papers in this series showed that CCN5 is expressed widely in mice from E9.5 to adult; however, its distribution before E9.5 has not been studied. To fill this gap in our knowledge of CCN5 expression in mammals, RT-PCR was performed on preimplantation murine embryos: 1 cell, 2 cell, 4 cell, early morula, late morula, and blastocyst. CCN5 mRNA was not detected in 1, 2, or 4 cell embryos. It was first detected at the early morula stage and persisted to the preimplantation blastocyst stage. Immunohistochemical staining showed widespread CCN5 expression in post-implantation blastocysts (E4.5), E5.5, E6.5, and E7.5 stage embryos. Consistent with our previous study on E9.5 embryos, this expression was not limited to a particular germ layer or cell type. The widespread distribution of CCN5 in early embryos suggests a crucial role in development.

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