Dunglison, G.F., Jane, S.D., McCaul, T.F., Chad, J.E., Fleming, T.P. and Kaye, P.L.
Stimulation of endocytosis in mouse blastocysts by insulin - a quantitative morphological analysis
Reproduction, 105, . (doi:10.1530/jrf.0.1050115). (PMID:7490702).
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The effects of insulin on the endocytic activity of mouse blastocysts in vitro were investigated using confocal laser scanning microscopy, quantitative image analysis and electron microscopy. Confocal studies showed that fluorescein isothiocyanate-labelled markers, dextran (fluid phase) and albumin (combined membrane and fluid phase), were endocytosed by blastocysts and localized within vesicles (about 2.5 ?m in diameter) in the outer trophectoderm cells. No labelling was detected in the inner cell mass cells or the blastocoel cavity. Treatment with 170 nmol insulin l?1 stimulated the endocytosis of fluorescently labelled dextran in freshly collected blastocysts, increasing mean vesicle diameter per embryo by 15% (P < 0.05) after incubation with insulin for 2.5 h and mean vesicle number per embryo by 56% (P < 0.01) after 6 h. Both effects were also evident in blastocysts that had been cultured from the late eight-cell stage. Blastocysts incubated for 6 h with insulin displayed increased convolutions in the trophectoderm apical membrane compared with controls, indicating increased membrane activity and suggesting macropinosome formation. Collectively, these results suggest that insulin enhances endocytosis in the trophectoderm by stimulating uptake at the apical membrane into larger and more numerous endocytic vesicles and with some evidence of vesicle fusion. This mechanism may provide a metabolic basis for the stimulation by insulin of biosynthesis, proliferation and morphological development in early embryos.
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