Yao Lab In the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology

Pre-implantation Embryo Development

The pre-implantation mouse embryo, like human embryos, is formed by the highly distinct and differentiated sperm and egg.  Over the next few days, this one-cell zygote undergoes dramatic reprogramming to establish totipotency – the potential to give rise to all cell types in the body and the placenta.  By the multicell-to-morula / compaction stages, the embryo is thought to undergo its first lineage-specific differentiation, such that by the blastocyst stage, cells from two distinct lineages – the inner cell mass (ICM) and trophectoderm – are morphologically apparent without the aid of molecular markers.

early mouse and human embryo in vitro development

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