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Preimplantation mouse embryos express Mhc class I genes before the first cleavage division

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We have used oligonucleotide primers complementary for polymorphic regions of the mouse H-2D gene in a highly sensitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay to detect the transcription of maternal and paternal class I mRNAs in gametes and preimplantation embryos. Using congenic strains of mice differencing only at the major histocompatibility loci, class I (H-2D) mRNA of both the maternal and paternal haplotypes was demonstrated in embryos from the one-cell zygote to the late blastocyst stage of development but could not be detected in vas deferens or in vitro capacitated sperm or in ovulated secondary oocytes. These data clearly show that both paternally and maternally inherited Major histocompatibility complex (Mhc) class I genes are transcribed from the earliest stages of embryonic development, and suggest that developmental regulation of expression of their protein products is principally at the post-transcriptional level.

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Correspondence to: N. Fernandez.

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Sprinks, M.T., Sellens, M.H., Dealtry, G.B. et al. Preimplantation mouse embryos express Mhc class I genes before the first cleavage division. Immunogenetics 38, 35–40 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00216388

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  • Major Histocompatibility Complex
  • Blastocyst Stage
  • Preimplantation Embryo
  • Congenic Strain
  • Polymorphic Region