Cell cycle (Georgetown, Tex.)

Binding of FGF2 to FGFR2 in an autocrine mode in trophectoderm cells is indispensable for mouse blastocyst formation through PKC-p38 pathway.

PMID 26378412


Fibroblast growth factors (FGF1, FGF2 and FGF4) and fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFR1, FGFR2, FGFR3 and FGFR4) have been reported to be expressed in preimplantation embryos and be required for their development. However, the functions of these molecules in trophectoderm cells (TEs) that lead to the formation of the blastocyst as well as the underlying mechanism have not been elucidated. The present study has demonstrated for the first time that endogenous FGF2 secreted by TEs can regulate protein expression and distribution in TEs via the FGFR2-mediated activation of PKC and p38, which are important for the development of expanded blastocysts. This finding provides the first explanation for the long-observed phenomenon that only high concentrations of exogenous FGFs have effects on embryonic development, but in vivo the amount of endogenous FGFs are trace. Besides, the present results suggest that FGF2/FGFR2 may act in an autocrine fashion and activate the downstream PKC/p38 pathway in TEs during expanded blastocyst formation.