Biologists from the Institut Curie and the CNRS together with a team of physicists from the Centre intedisciplinaire de recherche en biologie (Collège de France/CNRS/Inserm) have shed more light on one of the mysteries of mammalian embryonic development. The researchers led by Jean-Léon Maître examined how a liquid-filled cavity, known as the blastocoel, forms within the embryo during pre-implantation development, before attaching to the uterus. A few days after fertilization, when the embryo simply consists of a cluster of cells, a cavity forms within this cluster, pushing some of these cells into a “corner” of the sphere. This step is key since the position of this cavity plays a decisive role in building the mammalian body plan. The work is reported in Science.
Read the research paper: Hydraulic fracturing and active coarsening position the lumen of the mouse blastocyst. Julien G. Dumortier et al. Science 10.1126/science.aaw7709