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Cell Signaling During Mammalian Early Embryo Development considers signaling events from the zygote embryo through to the blastocyst with relevant data from embryonic stem (ES) cells, including dialogue with the extracellular environment and with the maternal tract during the implantation process. Application of the knowledge described to improve the success of human and animal assisted conception is considered where appropriate, but the focus is largely on fundamental rather than applied cell/molecular biology, as this is the area that has historically been neglected.
While the general features of metabolism during preimplantation development are well established, especially in terms of nutrient requirements, uptake and fate, remarkably little is known about early embryo signaling events, intracellular or intercellular, between individual embryos in vitro or with the female reproductive tract in vivo. This contrasts with the wealth of information on cell signaling in somatic cells and tissues, as a glance at any textbook of biochemistry illustrates. This lack of information is such that our understanding of the molecular cell biology of early embryos – a prerequisite to defining the mechanisms which regulate development at this critical stage of the life cycle – is seriously incomplete. Cell Signaling During Mammalian Early Embryo Development is the first to address this issue by describing the current state of knowledge on cell signaling during mammalian early embryo development and highlighting priority areas for research.
- Cell Signalling During Blastocyst Morphogenesis (Judith J. Eckert, Miguel A. Velazquez, Tom P. Fleming)
- Amino Acids and Conceptus Development During the Peri-implantation Period of Pregnancy (Fuller W. Bazer, Gregory A. Johnson, G. Wu)
- The Role of Hexosamine Biosynthesis and Signaling in Early Development (Marie Pantaleon)
- Molecular Biology of the Stress Response in the Early Embryo and Its Stem Cells (Elizabeth E. Puscheck, Awoniyi O. Awonuga, Yu Yang, Zhongliang Jiang, Daniel A. Rappolee)
- Survival Signalling in the Preimplantation Embryo (C. O'Neill, Y. Li, X.L. Jin)
- Intracellular Ca2+ Signaling and Preimplantation Development (D. Randall Armant)
- Female Tract Cytokines and Developmental Programming in Embryos (Sarah A. Robertson, Peck-Yin Chin, John E. Schjenken, Jeremy G. Thompson)
Henry J. Leese, PhD is a Professor of Biology at Hull York Medical School and the founding Editor-in-Chief of Human Fertility.
Daniel R. Brison, PhD, is Honorary Professor of Clinical Embryology and Stem Cell Biology; Scientific Director of the Department of Reproductive Medicine; and Co-Director NW Embryonic Stem Cell Centre (NWESCC) at Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust at St. Mary's Hospital.