Postimplantation development of mitomycin C-treated mouse blastocysts



Treatment of morula-stage mouse embryos with mitomycin C (0.004–0.5 μg/ml) in vitro resulted in a decrease in the number of inner cell mass (ICM) cells at the blastocyst stage. The trophectoderm population was reduced only at the highest dosage (0.5 μg/ml) tested. Postblastocyst development in vitro was retarded: Fewer embryos formed trophoblastic outgrowth, and the ICM was poorly developed. The embryo transfer experiments demonstrated that a reduction in ICM cell numbers diminished the potential of embryogenesis. The presence of a sufficient number of trophoblasts and ICM cells in the blastocyst is therefore a prerequisite for successful implantation and embryogenesis. The mitomycin-treated blastocysts with only 70% of normal ICM cells developed to egg cylinders that were about half normal size, but by days 12–14 the body size of the surviving embryo was similar to that of the control embryo. Morphogenesis was retarded during the early organogenesis stages, but only a slight delay was seen in the treated embryo on day 12. Such observation strongly suggests that a restorative phase of growth and morphogenesis has occurred during the immediate postimplantation period.