The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 36: 205 - 213 (1992)

Vol 36, Issue 2

Cellular and molecular aspects of mouse primordial germ cell migration and proliferation in culture

Published: 1 June 1992

M De Felici, S Dolci and M Pesce

Department of Public Health and Cell Biology, II University of Rome, Italy.


The development of mouse primordial germ cells is followed from their first appearance in the extraembryonic mesoderm of the posterior amniotic fold (7 dpc embryo) to their settlement in the genital ridges (12.5 dpc embryo). The role of fibronectin as adhesive substrate and/or in stimulating cell motility during PGC migration is discussed. Recent papers showing how PGCs migrate when cultured in vitro on cellular monolayers are reviewed. The process of PGC homing is proposed to be controlled by chemotaxis as well by developmentally regulated cell-to-cell interactions. Finally, evidence that survival and proliferation of PGCs is strictly dependent on growth factors such as LIF and MGF, and possibly on a cAMP-dependent mechanism is reported.

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