Control of growth and differentiation during mammalian embryogenesis may be regulated by growth factors from embryonic or maternal sources. With the use of single-cell messenger RNA phenotyping, the simultaneous expression of growth factor transcripts in single or small numbers of preimplantation mouse embryos was examined. Transcripts for platelet-derived growth factor A chain (PDGF-A), trans- forming growth factor (TGF)-a, and TGF- 1, but not for four other growth factors, were found in whole blastocysts. TGF-cx, TGF-(31, and PDGF antigens were detected in blastocysts by immunocytochemistry. Both PDGF-A and TGF-a were detected as maternal transcripts in the unferilized ovulated oocyte, and again in blastocysts. TGF- P1 transcripts appeared only after fertilization. The expression of a subset of growth factors in mouse blastocysts suggests a role for these factors in the growth and differentiation of early mammalian embryos.
Obstetrics and Gynecology
Rappolee, D.A., Developmental expression of PDGF, TGF-alpha, and TGF-beta genes in preimplantation mouse embryos, Science 241: 1823-1825 (1988). doi:10.1126/science.3175624