Navigation Links
Your first hug: How the early embryo changes shape
Date:11/25/2013

In research published today in Nature Cell Biology, scientists from the EMBL Australia research team based at Monash University's Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) have revealed new insights into how cells organise and form an early mammalian embryo.

In an early mammalian embryo, just 8-cells large, the roundish cells do something they had never done before something that would determine whether the embryo survived or failed. They change their shape. The cells become elongated and compacted against each other, before returning to their rounded shape and dividing again and again.

When compaction does not occur, embryos tend not to survive. And the timing of compaction has been linked to success in IVF (in vitro fertilisation) treatments. But how did these young, seemingly featureless cells undertake this vital shaping process?

Researchers Dr Nicolas Plachta, Dr Juan Carlos Fierro-Gonzlez and Dr Melanie White have found a new mechanism controlling the process. The team used live imaging technology and microinjected fluorescent markers to capture the action in vivid images and video.

"Our images reveal arm-like structures called filopodia appearing on the outer membrane of some cells during the 8-cell stage, and it is these filopodia that are responsible for contorting cell shape, and forming the embryo's first tissue-like layers," Dr Fierro-Gonzlez said.

"For the first time, we have been able to watch as filopodia reach out and grab neighbouring cells, pulling them closer and elongating the cell membranes. We think that this enables the cells to effectively compact, as their new non-rounded shape makes the most of the available space."

But the role of filopodia was made clearer upon seeing what happened next.

"We then saw the filopodia retract as they released their grip on neighbouring cells, allowing them to return to a somewhat rounded shape before they continued on their journey of cell division," Dr Fierro-Gonzlez said.

Dr Plachta and his team observed that cell division never occurred while filopodia were extended over the cells, but only once the filopodia had retracted. These observations have lead the researchers to believe that the filopodia provide the necessary surface tension to allow the cells to undergo expansion and compaction.

"Our findings reveal a completely unanticipated mechanism regulating the earliest stages of embryo development, and we can apply that knowledge to human IVF treatments," Dr Plachta, Leader of the Plachta Group, said.

Dr Plachta and his team are pioneering live imaging techniques to watch mouse embryos developing in real-time. And they are already working in partnership with the Monash School of Engineering to improve implantation success rates for human embryos.

"Now that we know what controls early development, we are designing non-invasive imaging approaches to see if human embryos used in IVF form normal filopodia and undergo normal compaction. This could help us choose which embryos should or shouldn't be implanted back in the uterus," Dr Plachta said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Courtney Karayannis
courtney.karayannis@monash.edu
61-399-034-841
Monash University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Kessler Foundation implements Ekso Bionics first commercial robotic exoskeleton
2. Research reveals first evidence of hunting by prehistoric Ohioans
3. First model of how buds grow into leaves
4. American College of Rheumatology releases first classification criteria for polymyalagia rheumatica
5. Ottawa researchers to lead world-first clinical trial of stem cell therapy for septic shock
6. First complete full genetic map of promising energy crop
7. FirstMark Announces New Hire Jay Houtman as Southeast Regional Sales Manager
8. FirstMark Exhibiting at the Inaugural Atlanta Clinical Cardiology Update
9. New technology tracks sparrow migration for first time from California to Alaska
10. First mass extinction linked to marine anoxia
11. Scientists complete first-ever emperor penguin count from space
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/24/2016)... Ampronix facilitates superior patient care by providing unparalleled technology to leaders of ... the latest premium product recently added to the range of products distributed by Ampronix. ... ... ... Medical Display- Ampronix News ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... VILNIUS, Lithuania , May 3, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... today released the MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification ... deployment of large-scale multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can ... and accuracy using any combination of fingerprint, face ... of MegaMatcher SDK and MegaMatcher ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... The new GEZE SecuLogic access ... "all-in-one" system solution for all door components. It can ... door interface with integration authorization management system, and thus ... minimal dimensions of the access control and the optimum ... offer considerable freedom of design with regard to the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Supplyframe, the Industry Network for electronics hardware ... . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s mission is to bring together ... built and brought to market. , The Design Lab is Supplyframe’s physical representation ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated to identifying, ... community, has closed its Series A funding round, according ... "We have received a commitment from Forentis Fund ... to meet our current goals," stated Matthew Nunez ... to complete validation on the current projects in our ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Regulatory Compliance Associates® Inc. (RCA), ... free webinar on Performing Quality Investigations: Getting to Root Cause. ... no charge. , Incomplete investigations are still a major concern to the Regulatory ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016 Cell ... will allow them to produce up to one ... one lot within one week. These high-quality, consistent ... laboriously preparing cells and spend more time doing ... through a proprietary, high-volume manufacturing process that produces ...
Breaking Biology Technology: