Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)

Cell differentiation events in pre-implantation mouse and bovine embryos

Letícia Escobar Carreiro; Gabriel Siqueira dos Santos; Felipe Eduardo Luedke; Marcelo Demarchi Goissis

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Early mammal embryogenesis starts with oocyte fertilization, giving rise to the zygote. The events that the newly formed zygote surpasses are crucial to the embryo developmental success. Shortly after activation of its genome, cells of the embryo segregate into the inner cell mass (ICM) or the trophectoderm (TE). The first will give rise to the embryo while the latter will become the placenta. This first segregation involves cellular and molecular processes that include cell polarity linked to intracellular pathway activation, which will regulate the transcription of trophectoderm-related genes. Then, cells of the ICM undergo the second event of mammalian cell differentiation, which consists of the separation between epiblast (EPI) and hypoblast or primitive endoderm (PrE). This second segregation involves paracrine signaling, leading to differential expression of key genes that will dictate the fate of the cell. Although these processes are described in detail in the mouse, recent studies suggest that the bovine embryo could also be an interesting model for early development, since there are differences to the mouse and similarities with early human embryogenesis. In this review, we gathered the main data available in the literature upon bovine and mouse early development events, suggesting that both models should be analyzed and studied in a complementary way, to better model early events occurring in human development.


early development, embryogenesis, inner cell mass, trophectoderm, blastocyst


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