Send to

Choose Destination
Annu Rev Genet. 2018 Nov 23;52:185-201. doi: 10.1146/annurev-genet-120116-024544. Epub 2018 Sep 5.

Genetic Control of Early Cell Lineages in the Mammalian Embryo.

Author information

Program in Stem Cell and Developmental Biology, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario M5G 0A4, Canada; email:
Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A8, Canada.


Establishing the different lineages of the early mammalian embryo takes place over several days and several rounds of cell divisions from the fertilized egg. The resulting blastocyst contains the pluripotent cells of the epiblast, from which embryonic stem cells can be derived, as well as the extraembryonic lineages required for a mammalian embryo to survive in the uterine environment. The dynamics of the cellular and genetic interactions controlling the initiation and maintenance of these lineages in the mouse embryo are increasingly well understood through application of the tools of single-cell genomics, gene editing, and in vivo imaging. Exploring the similarities and differences between mouse and human development will be essential for translation of these findings into new insights into human biology, derivation of stem cells, and improvements in fertility treatments.


blastocyst; human; mouse; pluripotency; stem cells; trophoblast

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center