PROBLEM: Fas antigen (APO-1/CD95) can regulate the activity of various cells during adulthood. This study aimed at determining whether Fas may also be involved in the regulation of very early events such as the embryo preimplantation stage.
METHOD OF STUDY: We used mouse embryo stem (ES) cell line as a model for testing the effect of Fas crosslinking upon anti-Fas monoclonal antibody (MoAb) treatment. In addition, this treatment was also applied to in-vitro mouse-embryo culture.
RESULTS: Flow-cytometry analysis of cultured ES cells demonstrated an increase in Fas expression, unchanged in the presence of mouse interleukin-2, while greatly upregulated in the presence of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). As determined by various means, ES cells may undergo a Fas-mediated apoptosis, slightly but significantly intensified by the addition of LPS to cell cultures. We also report that anti-Fas MoAb directly inhibited two-cell stage mouse-embryo (preimplantation) development in in-vitro culture conditions.
CONCLUSION: These data suggest a novel mechanism controlling the regulation of physiological cell turnover as well as blastocyst implantation in early embryo development.