PMID: 591880Oct 1, 1977

Factors affecting the time of formation of the mouse blastocoele

Journal of Embryology and Experimental Morphology
R Smith, A McLaren


In normal mouse embryos developing in vivo, the first appearance of the blastocyst cavity was found to be associated more closely with developmental age, judged by cell number, than with chronological age, i.e. elapsed time since ovulation. When development was slowed by in vitro culture, formation of the blastocoele was delayed. However, cell number itself was not a critical factor, since the number of cells per embryo could be doubled or tripled or halved by experimental manipulation without substantially affecting the timing of blastocoele formation. Experiments in which one cell division was suppressed with cytochalasin-B, leading to tetraploidy, showed that the number of cell divisions since fertilization was also not critical. A possible role is suggested either for nucleocytoplasmic ratio, or for the number of nuclear or chromosomal divisions or DNA replications since fertilization, all of which increase during cleavage.

Related Concepts

Blastocyst Structure
Cell Density
Cytochalasin B
Gestational Age
M Phase, Mitotic

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