Changes in sub-cellular localisation of trophoblast and inner cell mass specific transcription factors during bovine preimplantation development

Zofia E. Madeja, Jaroslaw Sosnowski, Kamila Hryniewicz, Ewelina Warzych, Piotr Pawlak, Natalia Rozwadowska, Berenika Plusa, Dorota Lechniak

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    Background: Preimplantation bovine development is emerging as an attractive experimental model, yet little is known about the mechanisms underlying trophoblast (TE)/inner cell mass (ICM) segregation in cattle. To gain an insight into these processes we have studied protein and mRNA distribution during the crucial stages of bovine development. Protein distribution of lineage specific markers OCT4, NANOG, CDX2 were analysed in 5-cell, 8-16 cell, morula and blastocyst stage embryos. ICM/TE mRNA levels were compared in hatched blastocysts and included: OCT4, NANOG, FN-1, KLF4, c-MYC, REX1, CDX2, KRT-18 and GATA6. Results: At the mRNA level the observed distribution patterns agree with the mouse model. CDX2 and OCT4 proteins were first detected in 5-cell stage embryos. NANOG appeared at the morula stage and was located in the cytoplasm forming characteristic rings around the nuclei. Changes in sub-cellular localisation of OCT4, NANOG and CDX2 were noted from the 8-16 cell onwards. CDX2 initially co-localised with OCT4, but at the blastocyst stage a clear lineage segregation could be observed. Interestingly, we have observed in a small proportion of embryos (2%) that CDX2 immunolabelling overlapped with mitotic chromosomes. Conclusions: Cell fate specification in cattle become evident earlier than presently anticipated - around the time of bovine embryonic genome activation. There is an intriguing possibility that for proper lineage determination certain transcription factors (such as CDX2) may need to occupy specific regions of chromatin prior to its activation in the interphase nucleus. Our observation suggests a possible role of CDX2 in the process of epigenetic regulation of embryonic cell fate. © 2013Madeja et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number32
    JournalBMC Developmental Biology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Bovine blastocyst
    • CDX2
    • Cell fate
    • Gene expression patterns
    • ICM/TE lineage segregation
    • Mitotic retention


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