Deciphering epiblast lumenogenesis reveals proamniotic cavity control of embryo growth and patterning

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Science Advances  10 Mar 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 11, eabe1640
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abe1640


During the peri-implantation stages, the mouse embryo radically changes its appearance, transforming from a hollow-shaped blastocyst to an egg cylinder. At the same time, the epiblast gets reorganized from a simple ball of cells to a cup-shaped epithelial monolayer enclosing the proamniotic cavity. However, the cavity’s function and mechanism of formation have so far been obscure. Through investigating the cavity formation, we found that in the epiblast, the process of lumenogenesis is driven by reorganization of intercellular adhesion, vectoral fluid transport, and mitotic paracellular water influx from the blastocoel into the emerging proamniotic cavity. By experimentally blocking lumenogenesis, we found that the proamniotic cavity functions as a hub for communication between the early lineages, enabling proper growth and patterning of the postimplantation embryo.

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