Regulation of the cell cycle in early mammalian embryos and its clinical implications
Review | Published: 6 February 2019
Lenka Radonova, Tereza Svobodova and Martin Anger*
Central European Institute of Technology, Department of Genetics and Reproduction, Veterinary Research Institute, Brno, Czech Republic
Early embryonic development is characterized by a plethora of very complex and simultaneously operating processes, which are constantly changing cellular morphology and behaviour. After fertilization, blastomeres of the newly created embryo undergo global epigenetic changes and simultaneously initiate transcription from the zygotic genome and differentiation forming separate cell lineages. Some of these mechanisms were extensively studied during the last several decades and valuable insight was gained into how these processes are regulated at the molecular level. We have, however, a still very limited understanding of how multiple events are coordinated during rapid development of an early mammalian embryo. In this review, we discuss some aspects of early embryonic development in mammals, namely the fidelity of chromosome segregation and occurrence of aneuploidy, as well as the clinical applications of cell cycle monitoring in human embryos.