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Table of Contents
Vol. 166, No. 2, 2000
Issue release date: 2000
Section title: Paper
Cells Tissues Organs 2000;166:180–207
(DOI:10.1159/000016732)

Structural Dynamics and Function of Early Embryonic Coats

Denker H.-W.
Institut für Anatomie, Universitätsklinikum Essen, Deutschland

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Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Paper

Published online: July 01, 2008
Issue release date: 2000

Number of Print Pages: 28
Number of Figures: 10
Number of Tables: 1

ISSN: 1422-6405 (Print)
eISSN: 1422-6421 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/CTO

Abstract

The extracellular embryonic coats (embryo/blastocyst coverings) that surround early mammalian embryos are most often still referred to as zona pellucida. Accumulating evidence from a number of earlier and recent studies clearly indicates that this is an oversimplification which cannot be defended anymore, at least in many species. Structural modifications of the coats occur during cleavage and blastocyst stages; these are most obvious in a number of species with the central type of implantation and, related to this, a high degree of blastocyst expansion, notably the rabbit and the horse. In this contribution, formation and transformation of the various layers of coats (zona pellucida, mucoprotein layer, neozona and gloiolemma in the rabbit, capsule in the horse) will be reviewed, as will be comparable structures seen, e.g., in the fur seal (subzonal layer) and the baboon. These phenomena will be discussed in the context of structurally more subtle changes found in other species, including those with small blastocysts and other types of implantation, in particular with biochemical modifications which may be physiologically quite important. The molecular mechanisms of deposition of coats and their transformation and shedding/dissolution will be briefly addressed. The possible functional significance of the coats and their transformation will be discussed (mechanical, morphogenetic and immunological role, molecular transport control, blastocyst positioning, implantation, trap and reservoir function for signalling molecules).

© 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel


Article / Publication Details

First-Page Preview
Abstract of Paper

Published online: July 01, 2008
Issue release date: 2000

Number of Print Pages: 28
Number of Figures: 10
Number of Tables: 1

ISSN: 1422-6405 (Print)
eISSN: 1422-6421 (Online)

For additional information: http://www.karger.com/CTO


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