Formation of the Blastocyst: Determination of Trophoblast and Embryonic Knot

Conference paper
Part of the Current Topics in Pathology book series (CT PATHOLOGY, volume 62)


In mammalian development, the earliest apparent differentiation of cells into two distinct lines manifests itself in the early blastocyst, when trophoblast and embryonic knot (“inner cell mass”) become distinguishable. Recently more and more attention is being paid to this process by developmental biologists, geneticists, cell biologists, reproductive biologists, and oncologists. This is apparently for one of the following reasons: (1) Blastocyst formation seems to result from the first process of determination in mammalian ontogeny, which means that the genome has not been under the influence of any determinative stimuli before. (2) The system appears to be far less complex than later stages so that it may be especially suitable for experimentation. (3) Determination of trophoblast, a tissue of some peculiar properties, may exhibit interesting specific features. (4) Trophoblast is in the focus of interest of reproductive biologists as well as oncologists because of its role in mediating contact between embryo and mother, and because of its invasive growth.


Trophoblast Cell Blastocyst Formation Mouse Blastocyst Morula Stage Preimplantation Mouse Embryo 
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