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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Disruption of the cytokeratin filament network in the preimplantation mouse embryo.

The distribution of the cytokeratin network in the intact preimplantation mouse embryo and the role of cytokeratin filaments in trophectoderm differentiation were investigated by means of whole-mount indirect immunofluorescence microscopy and microinjection of anti-cytokeratin antibody. Assembled cytokeratin filaments were detected in some blastomeres as early as the compacted 8-cell stage. The incidence and organization of cytokeratin filaments increased during the morula stage, although individual blastomeres varied in their content of assembled filaments. At the blastocyst stage, each trophectoderm cell contained an intricate network of cytokeratin filaments, and examination of sectioned blastocysts confirmed that extensive arrays of cytokeratin filaments were restricted to cells of the trophectoderm. Microinjection of anticytokeratin antibody into individual mural trophectoderm cells of expanded blastocysts resulted in a dramatic rearrangement of the cytokeratin network in these cells. Moreover, antibody injection into 2-cell embryos inhibited assembly of the cytokeratin network during the next two days of development. Despite this disruption of cytokeratin assembly, the injected embryos compacted and developed into blastocysts with normal morphology and nuclear numbers. These results suggest that formation of an elaborate cytokeratin network in preimplantation mouse embryos is unnecessary for the initial stages of trophectoderm differentiation resulting in blastocyst formation.[1]


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