JOURNAL ARTICLE

Changes in the expression patterns of the genes involved in the segregation and function of inner cell mass and trophectoderm lineages during porcine preimplantation development

Takashi Fujii, Nobuyuki Sakurai, Tsubasa Osaki, Gentaro Iwagami, Hiroki Hirayama, Akira Minamihashi, Tsutomu Hashizume, Ken Sawai
Journal of Reproduction and Development 2013, 59 (2): 151-8
23257836
In mouse embryos, segregation of the inner cell mass (ICM) and trophectoderm (TE) lineages is regulated by genes, such as OCT-4, CDX2 and TEAD4. However, the molecular mechanisms that regulate the segregation of the ICM and TE lineages in porcine embryos remain unknown. To obtain insights regarding the segregation of the ICM and TE lineages in porcine embryos, we examined the mRNA expression patterns of candidate genes, OCT-4, CDX2, TEAD4, GATA3, NANOG, FGF4, FGFR1-IIIc and FGFR2-IIIc, in blastocyst and elongated stage embryos. In blastocyst embryos, the expression levels of OCT-4, FGF4 and FGFR1-IIIc were significantly higher in the ICM than in the TE, while the CDX2, TEAD4 and GATA3 levels did not differ between the ICM and TE. The expression ratio of CDX2 to OCT-4 (CDX2/OCT-4) also did not differ between the ICM and TE at the blastocyst stage. In elongated embryos, OCT-4, NANOG, FGF4 and FGFR1-IIIc were abundantly expressed in the embryo disc (ED; ICM lineage), but their expression levels were very low in the TE. In contrast, the CDX2, TEAD4 and GATA3 levels were significantly higher in the TE than in the ED. In addition, the CDX2/OCT-4 ratio was markedly higher in the TE than in the ED. We demonstrated that differences in the expression levels of OCT-4, CDX2, TEAD4, GATA3, NANOG, FGF4, FGFR1-IIIc and FGFR2-IIIc genes between ICM and TE lineages cells become more clear during development from porcine blastocyst to elongated embryos, which indicates the possibility that in porcine embryos, functions of ICM and TE lineage cells depend on these gene expressions proceed as transition from blastocyst to elongated stage.

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