Expression of cell adhesion molecules during human preimplantation embryo development

D. J. Bloor, A. D. Metcalfe, A. Rutherford, D. R. Brison, S. J. Kimber

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Formation of a fully differentiated, implantation competent blastocyst requires the expression of a complex repertoire of molecules. However, the events that drive morphogenesis are poorly elucidated in the human embryo. In this work, we describe the amplification of representative cDNAs from morphologically and developmentally normal, individual human embryos at all stages from pronucleate to blastocyst. These cDNAs were probed to reveal the temporal expression pattern of cell adhesion molecules thought to play a key role in murine preimplantation embryo development. We demonstrated constitutive expression of β actin, β1 and α6 integrins, ZO-1 and E-cadherin, as shown previously in mouse embryos. No expression of β3, α2, α3 or α7 integrins nor of L or P selectin was detected at any stage of preimplantation development. β5 integrin showed a regulated pattern of expression and was not expressed in blastocysts, while desmocollin-2 could only be detected at the blastocyst stage. Expression and localization of β1, β5 and α6 integrins and ZO-1 and E-cadherin proteins was confirmed in blastocyst stage embryos by immunocytochemistry. We have identified differences in the expression of integrin molecules between mouse and human embryos, and propose a role for αvβ5 and α6β1 integrin dimers in the human embryo at implantation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)237-245
    Number of pages8
    JournalMolecular Human Reproduction
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


    • Cell adhesion
    • Embryo
    • Human
    • Integrin
    • Preimplantation


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