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Cell. 1986 Mar 28;44(6):831-8.

Migratory and postmigratory mouse primordial germ cells behave differently in culture.


In all vertebrate groups, the progenitors of the germ line, the primordial germ cells (PGCs) arise extragonadally and move to the developing gonad early in embryonic development. We have examined the behavior of isolated pregonadal and gonadal PGCs in vitro on feeder layers of an embryo-derived cell line. Histochemically and serologically identified pregonadal germ cells are found to be actively motile in vitro and, furthermore, show behavior characteristic of invasive cells. PGCs isolated from the developing gonad, however, show little locomotory activity and are not invasive on the same cellular substrate. These observations suggest that PGCs undergo a major change in phenotype at the time of their entry into the gonad anlagen.

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