Document Type



One of the earliest events in mammalian embryogenesis is the formation of the inner cell mass (ICM) and the subse- quent delamination of primitive endoderm. We have found that mRNA for fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-4, but not FGF-3, is expressed in preimplantation mouse blastocysts and that the FGF-4 polypeptide is present in ICM cells. ICM-like embryonal carcinoma cells and embryonic stem cells also express FGF-4. Conversely, differentiated embryonal carcinoma cells in the endoderm lineage express FGF-3, but not FGF-4 mRNA. Although mouse embryos expressed FGF-4 mRNA from the 1-cell stage, embryos cultured from the 2-cell through the blastocyst stage in the presence of recombinant FGF-4 did not respond mitogenically. However, when ICMs that were isolated by immunosurgery were cultured with FGF- 4, the number of morphologically distinct, differentiated parietal endoderm cells growing out onto the coverslip increased, without an increase in the number of undiffer- entiated ICM cells. ICM outgrowths cultured with FGF-4 increased their secretion of 92×103 Mrgelatinase and tissue plasminogen activator, a hallmark of migrating cells. Receptors for FGF-4 (FGFR-3 and FGFR-4) are expressed in all cells of the mouse blastocyst. These findings indicate that FGF-4 produced by undifferentiated ICM cells acts in the peri-implantation period of embryogenesis to influence the production and behavior of endoderm cells derived from them. Key words: fibroblast growth factor, mouse embryogenesis, metallo


Obstetrics and Gynecology


Copyright (1994) The Company of Biologist Limited. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the Company of Biologist Limited. This article is the publisher’s version (Company of Biologist Limited), previously appearing in DEVELOPMENT (120, 1994, pp. 2259-2269). Also available online at