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October 2008 Biology of Reproduction highlights
Date:9/18/2008

etic processes have been suspected. Morgan et al. elegantly bolster the epigenetic hypothesis in a paper on p. 618 of this issue. The authors used a mouse "reporter" model for changes in methylation: the IAP (intracisternal A-particle) element that controls expression at the coat-color Avy (agouti viable yellow) allele; mice bearing this allele exhibit coat-color differences reflective of the extent of methylation on the IAP element. Morgan et al. found highly significant differences in color coats among offspring derived from either in vivo or in vitro preimplantation development, demonstrating that conditions for preimplantation development affected epigenetic regulation of the Avy locus. Thus, culture conditions used in this study did not mimic the normal (in vivo) environment for preimplantation development and this difference resulted in a clear effect on the adult phenotype. The Avy model will facilitate optimization of preimplantation culture of mouse embryos, and lessons learned from this approach in turn should be valuable for optimizing human preimplantation culture environments.

Hugh D. Morgan, Xing L. Jin, Aiqing Li, Emma Whitelaw, and Chris O'Neill. The Culture of Zygotes to the Blastocyst Stage Changes the Postnatal Expression of an Epigentically Labile Allele, Agouti Viable Yellow, in Mice. Biol Reprod 2008; 79: 618-623. Published online in BOR-Papers In Press 18 June 2008; DOI 10.1095/biolreprod.108.068213


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Contact: Judith Jansen
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608-256-2777
Society for the Study of Reproduction
Source:Eurekalert

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