File talk:Cattle embryo staging 01.jpg

From Embryology

Morphological and Gene Expression Changes in Cattle Embryos from Hatched Blastocyst to Early Gastrulation Stages after Transfer of In Vitro Produced Embryos

PLoS One. 2015 Jun 15;10(6):e0129787. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0129787. eCollection 2015.

van Leeuwen J1, Berg DK2, Pfeffer PL3.


A detailed morphological staging system for cattle embryos at stages following blastocyst hatching and preceding gastrulation is presented here together with spatiotemporal mapping of gene expression for BMP4, BRACHYURY, CERBERUS1 (CER1), CRIPTO, EOMESODERMIN, FURIN and NODAL. Five stages are defined based on distinct developmental events. The first of these is the differentiation of the visceral hypoblast underlying the epiblast, from the parietal hypoblast underlying the mural trophoblast. The second concerns the formation of an asymmetrically positioned, morphologically recognisable region within the visceral hypoblast that is marked by the presence of CER1 and absence of BMP4 expression. We have termed this the anterior visceral hypoblast or AVH. Intra-epiblast cavity formation and the disappearance of the polar trophoblast overlying the epiblast (Rauber's layer) have been mapped in relation to AVH formation. The third chronological event involves the transition of the epiblast into the embryonic ectoderm with concomitant onset of posterior NODAL, EOMES and BRACHYURY expression. Lastly, gastrulation commences as the posterior medial embryonic ectoderm layer thickens to form the primitive streak and cells ingress between the embryonic ectoderm and hypoblast. At this stage a novel domain of CER1 expression is seen whereas the AVH disappears. Comparison with the mouse reveals that while gene expression patterns at the onset of gastrulation are well conserved, asymmetry establishment, which relies on extraembryonic tissues such as the hypoblast and trophoblast, has diverged in terms of both gene expression and morphology.

PMID 26076128