Int. J. Dev. Biol. 41: 195 - 198 (1997)
© UPV/EHU Press

Surgical manipulation of mammalian embryos in vitro.

I Naruse, H Keino and M Taniguchi

Congenital Anomaly Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, Japan.

ABSTRACT Whole-embryo culture systems are useful in the fields of not only embryology but also teratology, toxicology, pharmacology, and physiology. Of the many advantages of whole-embryo culture, we focus here on the surgical manipulation of mammalian embryos. Whole-embryo culture allows us to manipulate mammalian embryos, similarly to fish, amphibian and avian embryos. Many surgical experiments have been performed in mammalian embryos in vitro. Such surgical manipulation alters the destiny of morphogenesis of the embryos and can answer many questions concerning developmental issues. As an example of surgical manipulation using whole-embryo culture systems, one of our experiments is described. Microsurgical electrocauterization of the deep preaxial mesodermal programmed cell death zone (fpp) in the footplate prevented the manifestation of polydactyly in genetic polydactyly mouse embryos (Pdn/Pdn), in which fpp was abolished.