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Modeling human embryo development with embryonic and extra-embryonic stem cells

Weatherbee, Bailey A. T. and Cui, Tongtong and Zernicka-Goetz, Magdalena (2021) Modeling human embryo development with embryonic and extra-embryonic stem cells. Developmental Biology, 474 . pp. 91-99. ISSN 0012-1606. PMCID PMC8232073. doi:10.1016/j.ydbio.2020.12.010.

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Early human post-implantation development involves extensive growth combined with a series of complex morphogenetic events. The lack of precise spatial and temporal control over these processes leads to pregnancy loss. Given the ethical and technical limitations in studying the natural human embryo, alternative approaches are needed to investigate mechanisms underlying this critical stage of human development. Here, we present an overview of the different stem cells and stem cell-derived models which serve as useful, albeit imperfect, tools in understanding human embryogenesis. Current models include stem cells that represent each of the three earliest lineages: human embryonic stem cells corresponding to the epiblast, hypoblast-like stem cells and trophoblast stem cells. We also review the use of human embryonic stem cells to model complex aspects of epiblast morphogenesis and differentiation. Additionally, we propose that the combination of both embryonic and extra-embryonic stem cells to form three-dimensional embryo models will provide valuable insights into cell-cell chemical and mechanical interactions that are essential for natural embryogenesis.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Weatherbee, Bailey A. T.0000-0002-6825-6278
Cui, Tongtong0000-0002-2474-3832
Zernicka-Goetz, Magdalena0000-0002-7004-2471
Additional Information:© 2020 Elsevier. Received 28 August 2020, Revised 9 December 2020, Accepted 10 December 2020, Available online 14 December 2020. Thank you to Carlos Gantner, Matteo Molé, Marta N. Shahbazi, Meng Zhu for their critical comments on the manuscript. BATW is funded by the Gates Cambridge Trust, United Kingdom. Work in the MZ-G. laboratory is funded by a Wellcome Trust grant, United Kingdom (207415/Z/17/Z); ERC, Belgium (669198); Open Philanthropy Foundation, United States; Weston Havens Foundation (P2241554), United States; and Curci Foundation (P2266201), United States.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gates Cambridge TrustUNSPECIFIED
Wellcome Trust207415/Z/17/Z
European Research Council (ERC)669198
Open PhilanthropyUNSPECIFIED
Weston Havens FoundationP2241554
Shurl and Kay Curci FoundationP2266201
PubMed Central ID:PMC8232073
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20201217-133744400
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Bailey A.T. Weatherbee, Tongtong Cui, Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz, Modeling human embryo development with embryonic and extra-embryonic stem cells, Developmental Biology, Volume 474, 2021, Pages 91-99, ISSN 0012-1606,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:107162
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:17 Dec 2020 22:05
Last Modified:08 Sep 2021 15:57

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