Cadherin-mediated cell interaction regulates germ cell determination in mice

Daiji Okamura, Thoru Kimura, Toru Nakano, Yasuhisa Matsui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


The germ cell lineage segregates from the somatic cell lineages in early embryos. Germ cell determination in mice is not regulated by maternally inherited germplasm, but is initiated within the embryo during gastrulation. However, the mechanisms of germ cell specification in mice remain unknown. We located precursors to primordial germ cells (PGCs) within early embryos, and show here that cell-cell interaction among these precursors is required for germ cell specification. We found that the expression of a calcium-dependent cell adhesion molecule, E-cadherin, is restricted to the proximal region of extra-embryonic mesoderm that contains PGC precursors, and that blocking the functions of E-cadherin with an antibody inhibits PGC formation in vitro. These results showed that E-cadherin-mediated cell-cell interaction among cells containing PGC precursors is essential to directing such cells to the germ cell fate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6423-6430
Number of pages8
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Dec


  • Cell fate
  • Cell interaction
  • E-cadherin
  • Primordial germ cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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