Mice and cattle use distinct pathways for the first cell segregation into inner cell mass (ICM) and trophectoderm (TE) lineages at the blastocyst stage. However, limited knowledge is available regarding the reliable transcriptional networks that orchestrate the complex developmental processes at this stage in nonrodent species. In order to elucidate the site-dominant transcriptomic properties of bovine blastocysts, we separated cell samples into the ICM and TE using both mechanical and chemical methods and performed in silico prescreening for candidate genes that were site-dominantly expressed in bovine blastocysts. We further performed quantitative real-time PCR and in situ hybridization using the site-specific cell samples. As a result, we identified seven ICM-dominant genes and five TE-dominant genes not found in earlier studies. Our findings provide novel insights into the mechanism of cell-fate specification in the pre-implantation bovine embryo.
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Vol. 88 • No. 6