No evidence of involvement of E-cadherin in cell fate specification or the segregation of Epi and PrE in mouse blastocysts

Katarzyna Filimonow, Nestor Saiz, Aneta Suwińska, Tomasz Wyszomirski, Joanna B. Grabarek, Elisabetta Ferretti, Anna Piliszek, Berenika Plusa, Marek Maleszewski, Jo-ann L. Stanton (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During preimplantation mouse development stages, emerging pluripotent epiblast (Epi) and extraembryonic primitive endoderm (PrE) cells are first distributed in the blastocyst in a “salt-and-pepper” manner before they segregate into separate layers. As a result of segregation, PrE cells become localised on the surface of the inner cell mass (ICM), and the Epi is enclosed by the PrE on one side and by the trophectoderm on the other. During later development, a subpopulation of PrE cells migrates away from the ICM and forms the parietal endoderm (PE), while cells remaining in contact with the Epi form the visceral endoderm (VE). Here, we asked: what are the mechanisms mediating Epi and PrE cell segregation and the subsequent VE vs PE specification? Differences in cell adhesion have been proposed; however, we demonstrate that the levels of plasma membrane-bound E-cadherin (CDH1, cadherin 1) in Epi and PrE cells only differ after the segregation of these lineages within the ICM. Moreover, manipulating E-cadherin levels did not affect lineage specification or segregation, thus failing to confirm its role during these processes. Rather, we report changes in E-cadherin localisation during later PrE-to-PE transition which are accompanied by the presence of Vimentin and Twist, supporting the hypothesis that an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition process occurs in the mouse peri-implantation blastocyst.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0212109
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
Early online date8 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • E-cadherin
  • mouse blastocyst
  • primitive endoderm
  • epiblast
  • inner cell mass segregation
  • epithelial – mesenchymal transition

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Manchester Cancer Research Centre


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