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Cultivation of Mouse Embryos in vitro


EXPERIMENTAL embryology of mammals is greatly restricted by the difficulties of growing mammalian embryos in vitro. Despite recent successes with the cultivation of mouse and rabbit eggs1, techniques for the cultivation of post-implantation embryos have not hitherto advanced beyond those devised by Jolly and Lieure2, and Nicholas and Rudnick3. Jolly and Lieure obtained development of rat and guinea pig embryos explanted into homologous serum at stages between primitive streak and a few somites. They report that of their explanted rat embryos 37 per cent developed an embryonic axis with a rhythmically beating heart, but only 9 per cent a functioning circulation. None formed limb buds or a functioning allantoic circulation. Nicholas and Rudnick3 appear to have had a similar degree of success with rat embryos explanted into heparinized rat plasma and embryo extract.

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  1. Austin, C. R., The Mammalian Egg, 144 (Blackwell, Oxford, 1961).

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  2. Jolly, J., and Lieure, C., Arch. Anat. Micro., 34, 307 (1938).

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  3. Nicholas, J. S., and Rundinck, D., J. Exp. Zool., 78, 205 (1938).

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NEW, D., STEIN, K. Cultivation of Mouse Embryos in vitro. Nature 199, 297–299 (1963).

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