Developmental expression of PDGF, TGF-alpha, and TGF-beta genes in preimplantation mouse embryos

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Science  30 Sep 1988:
Vol. 241, Issue 4874, pp. 1823-1825
DOI: 10.1126/science.3175624


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), transforming growth factor (TGF)-alpha, and TGF-beta 1, but not for four other growth factors, were found in whole blastocysts. TGF-alpha, TGF-beta 1, and PDGF antigens were detected in blastocysts by immunocytochemistry. Both PDGF-A and TGF-alpha were detected as maternal transcripts in the unfertilized ovulated oocyte, and again in blastocysts. TGF-beta 1 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.

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