Embryology: does prepatterning occur in the mouse egg?

Document Type


Publication Date



Blastocyst, Blastomeres, Body-Patterning, Cell-Lineage, Cell-Polarity, Cleavage-Stage-Ovum, Embryonic-Development, Mice, Models-Biological, Zygote

JAX Source

Nature 2006 Jul; 442(7099):E3-4.


A recurring question in developmental biology has been whether localized determinants play any role in mammalian preimplantation development. This is a controversial issue that brings back the idea of prepatterning and is explored further by Plusa et al., who claim it is the first cleavage of the mouse zygote that predicts the blastocyst axis, rather than the animal pole or sperm entry point, as previously suggested. However, other evidence indicates that the blasotcyst axis is not predetermined and there is no prepatterning in the mouse egg. Here we investigate the origin of these different views and conclude that they arise from differences in the data themselves and in their interpretation.

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