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Current Topics in Developmental Biology

Cécilia Bassalert, Lorena Valverde-Estrella, Claire Chazaud
At the time of implantation, the mouse blastocyst has developed three cell lineages: the epiblast (Epi), the primitive endoderm (PrE), and the trophectoderm (TE). The PrE and TE are extraembryonic tissues but their interactions with the Epi are critical to sustain embryonic growth, as well as to pattern the embryo. We review here the cellular and molecular events that lead to the production of PrE and Epi lineages and discuss the different hypotheses that are proposed for the induction of these cell types. In the second part, we report the current knowledge about the epithelialization of the PrE...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Sergio Menchero, Julio Sainz de Aja, Miguel Manzanares
The trophectoderm (TE) is the first cell population to appear in the mammalian preimplantation embryo, as the result of the differentiation of totipotent blastomeres located on the outer surface of the late morula. Trophectodermal cells arrange in a monolayer covering the expanding blastocyst and acquire an epithelial phenotype with distinct apicobasal polarity and a basal lamina placed toward the blastocyst interior. During later development through the periimplantation and gastrulation stages, the TE gives rise to extraembryonic membranes and cell types that will eventually form most of the fetal placenta, the specialized organ through which the embryo obtains maternal nourishment necessary for subsequent exponential growth...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Stephanie Bissiere, Maxime Gasnier, Yanina D Alvarez, Nicolas Plachta
The early mouse embryo offers a phenomenal system to dissect how changes in the mechanisms controlling cell fate are integrated with morphogenetic events at the single-cell level. New technologies based on live imaging have enabled the discovery of dynamic changes in the regulation of single genes, transcription factors, and epigenetic mechanisms directing early cell fate decision in the early embryo. Here, we review recent progress in linking molecular dynamic events occurring at the level of the single cell in vivo, to some of the key morphogenetic changes regulating early mouse development...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Matthew J Stower, Shankar Srinivas
The establishment of the anterior-posterior (A-P) axis is a fundamental event during early development and marks the start of the process by which the basic body plan is laid down. This axial information determines where gastrulation, that generates and positions cells of the three-germ layers, occurs. A-P patterning requires coordinated interactions between multiple tissues, tight spatiotemporal control of signaling pathways, and the coordination of tissue growth with morphogenetic movements. In the mouse, a specialized population of cells, the anterior visceral endoderm (AVE) undergoes a migration event critical for correct A-P pattern...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Ana Lima, Jörg Burgstaller, Juan M Sanchez-Nieto, Tristan A Rodríguez
From fertilization until the onset of gastrulation the early mammalian embryo undergoes a dramatic series of changes that converts a single fertilized cell into a remarkably complex organism. Much attention has been given to the molecular changes occurring during this process, but here we will review what is known about the changes affecting the mitochondria and how they impact on the energy metabolism and apoptotic response of the embryo. We will also focus on understanding what quality control mechanisms ensure optimal mitochondrial activity in the embryo, and in this way provide an overview of the importance of the mitochondria in determining cell fitness during early mammalian development...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Sissy E Wamaitha, Kathy K Niakan
Understanding the progression of early human embryonic development prior to implantation is of fundamental biological importance. Greater insights into early developmental events may lead to clinical improvements, not only via the establishment of novel stem cell models with increased potential or more physiological relevance, but also by uncovering some underlying causes of infertility, miscarriages, and developmental disorders. The majority of human embryos available for study are those donated to research once they are surplus to family building following in vitro fertilization, though in some countries it is also possible to create embryos using donated gametes...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Anna Piliszek, Zofia E Madeja
During the first days following fertilization, cells of mammalian embryo gradually lose totipotency, acquiring distinct identity. The first three lineages specified in the mammalian embryo are pluripotent epiblast, which later gives rise to the embryo proper, and two extraembryonic lineages, hypoblast (also known as primitive endoderm) and trophectoderm, which form tissues supporting development of the fetus in utero. Most of our knowledge regarding the mechanisms of early lineage specification in mammals comes from studies in the mouse...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Stephen Frankenberg
Marsupials and monotremes differ from eutherian mammals in many features of their reproduction and development. Some features appear to be representative of transitional stages in evolution from therapsid reptiles to humans and mice, particularly with respect to the extraembryonic tissues that have undergone remarkable modifications to accommodate reduced egg size and quantity of yolk/deutoplasm, and increasing emphasis on viviparity and placentation. Trophoblast and hypoblast contribute the epithelial layers in most of the extraembryonic membranes and are the first two lineages to differentiate from the embryonic lineage...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Michelle K Y Seah, Daniel M Messerschmidt
When reflecting about cell fate commitment we think of differentiation. Be it during embryonic development or in an adult stem cell niche, where cells of a higher potency specialize and cell fate decisions are taken. Under normal circumstances this process is definitive and irreversible. Cell fate commitment is achieved by the establishment of cell-type-specific transcriptional programmes, which in turn are guided, reinforced, and ultimately locked-in by epigenetic mechanisms. Yet, this plunging drift in cellular potency linked to epigenetically restricted access to genomic information is problematic for reproduction...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Jennifer Watts, Alyson Lokken, Alexandra Moauro, Amy Ralston
Cells of the early embryo are totipotent because they will differentiate to produce the fetus and its surrounding extraembryonic tissues. By contrast, embryonic stem (ES) cells are considered to be merely pluripotent because they lack the ability to efficiently produce extraembryonic cell types. The relatively limited developmental potential of ES cells can be explained by the observation that ES cells are derived from the embryo after its cells have already begun to specialize and lose totipotency. Meanwhile, at the time that pluripotent ES cell progenitors are specified, so are the multipotent progenitors of two extraembryonic stem cell types: trophoblast stem (TS) cells and extraembryonic endoderm stem (XEN) cells...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Priscila Ramos-Ibeas, Jennifer Nichols, Ramiro Alberio
Mouse embryonic stem cells (ESC), derived from preimplantation embryos in 1981, defined mammalian pluripotency for many decades. However, after the derivation of human ESC in 1998, comparative studies showed that different types of pluripotency exist in early embryos and that these can be captured in vitro under various culture conditions. Over the past decade much has been learned about the key signaling pathways, growth factor requirements, and transcription factor profiles of pluripotent cells in embryos, allowing improvement of derivation and culture conditions for novel pluripotent stem cell types...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Deepak Saini, Yojiro Yamanaka
During the first few days in the mouse preimplantation embryo, two types of cells, polar and apolar cells are generated from spherical totipotent blastomeres. Sequential morphogenetic events, polarization, compaction, and asymmetric division, are essential for the generation of the first distinct cell populations, polar and apolar cells, which establish the outer/inner configuration within the embryo. This leads to position-dependent activation of the Hippo signaling pathway and lineage-specific gene expression to form the trophectoderm and inner cell mass in a blastocyst...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Katarzyna Klimczewska, Anna Kasperczuk, Aneta Suwińska
The striking developmental plasticity of early mammalian embryos has been known since the classical experiments performed in the 1950s and 1960s. There are many lines of evidence that the mammalian embryo is able to continue normal development even when exposed to severe experimental manipulations of the number and position of cells within the embryo. These observations have raised the question about the mechanisms involved in emergence, maintenance, and progressive restriction of this plasticity. Only recently, we have begun to understand these mechanisms...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Berenika Plusa, Anna-Katerina Hadjantonakis
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Saghi Ghaffari
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Sabina van Doeselaar, Boudewijn M T Burgering
A paradigm shift is emerging within the FOXO field and accumulating evidence indicates that we need to reappreciate the role of FOXOs, at least in cancer development. Here, we discuss the possibility that FOXOs are both tumor suppressors as well as promoters of tumor progression. This is mostly dependent on the biological context. Critical to this dichotomous role is the notion that FOXOs are central in preserving cellular homeostasis in redox control, genomic stability, and protein turnover. From this perspective, a paradoxical role in both suppressing and enhancing tumor progression can be reconciled...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Raymond Liang, Saghi Ghaffari
Stem cells self-renew and differentiate to generate all tissues and cells in the body. Stem cell health promotes adaptive responses to tissue damage or loss and is essential for tissue regeneration with age. In the past decade, the evolutionarily conserved transcription factors FOXO with known functions in promoting healthy aging have emerged as key regulators of stem cell homeostasis in various tissues, including blood, neural, and muscle stem cells. Aberrant FOXO functions have been implicated in a variety of disorders including neurodegenerative, blood, cancer, and diabetes some of which are fostered by abnormal stem cell function...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Philip M C Davy, Richard C Allsopp, Timothy A Donlon, Brian J Morris, Donald Craig Willcox, Bradley J Willcox
Aging is a complex, multifactorial process with significant plasticity. While several biological pathways appear to influence aging, few genes have been identified that are both evolutionarily conserved and have a strong impact on aging and age-related phenotypes. The FoxO3 gene (FOXO3), and its homologs in model organisms, appears especially important, forming a key gene in the insulin/insulin-like growth factor-signaling pathway, and influencing life span across diverse species. We highlight some of the key findings that are associated with FoxO3 protein, its gene and homologs in relation to lifespan in different species, and the insights these findings might provide about the molecular, cellular, and physiological processes that modulate aging and longevity in humans...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Abigail K Brown, Ashley E Webb
Forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factors are central regulators of cellular homeostasis. FOXOs respond to a wide range of external stimuli, including growth factor signaling, oxidative stress, genotoxic stress, and nutrient deprivation. These signaling inputs regulate FOXOs through a number of posttranslational modifications, including phosphorylation, acetylation, ubiquitination, and methylation. Covalent modifications can affect localization, DNA binding, and interactions with other cofactors in the cell...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
Ha-Neui Kim, Srividhya Iyer, Rebecca Ring, Maria Almeida
Recent studies with murine models of cell-specific loss- or gain-of-function of FoxOs have provided novel insights into the function and signaling of these transcription factors on the skeleton. They have revealed that FoxO actions in chondrocytes are critical for normal skeletal development, and FoxO actions in cells of the osteoclast or osteoblast lineage greatly influence bone resorption and formation and, consequently, bone mass. FoxOs also act in osteoblast progenitors to inhibit Wnt signaling and bone formation...
2018: Current Topics in Developmental Biology
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