The spatiotemporal pattern of DNA synthesis in the mouse embryo at the beginning of metabolic dormancy was examined. Embryos were recovered from females at intervals following ovariectomy at 1100 hours on day 4 of pregnancy, incubated in vitro for 1 h in the presence of [3H]thymidine, and prepared for light microscopic autoradiography. The proportion of labeled cells in the embryo remained high (40–60%) for 18 h after ovariectomy and then declined gradually to 12% by 96 h. However, analysis of individual cell subpopulations showed that the decline was not uniform in all regions of the blastocyst. Labeling was high over the inner cell mass (ICM) during all time intervals in the study, while labeling over the mural trophoblast cells declined sharply by 24 h after ovariectomy. Labeling over the polar trophoblast also declined but had values that were intermediate between the ICM and mural trophoblast regions of the blastocyst. These regional differences in DNA synthesis during the arrest of development suggest that intermediate steps are involved in control of DNA synthesis in the embryo and that the ICM may play a role in the different responses of the trophoblast cell populations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology