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Morphogenesis and identification of embryonic differentiation in porcine embryos are crucial issues for developmental biology and laboratory animal science. The current paper presents a study on the asynchronous development of hatched porcine embryos from days 7 to 13 post-insemination. Examination of semi-thin sections of the hypoblast showed that it had characteristics similar to those of the mouse anterior visceral endoderm during embryonic disc formation. Also, a cavity appeared in the epiblast, which was similar to a mouse proamniotic cavity. With the gradual disappearance of Rauber's layer, the cavity opened and contacted the external environment directly, all of which formed the embryonic disc. To confirm the differentiation characteristics, we performed immunohistochemical analyses and showed that GATA6 was detected clearly in parietal endoderm cells during embryonic disc establishment. OCT4 was expressed in the inner cell mass (ICM) and trophoblast of hatched blastocysts and in the epiblast during formation of the embryonic disc. However, OCT4 showed comparatively decreased expression in the posterior embryonic disc, primitive streak and migrating cells. SOX2 was present in the ICM and epiblast. Therefore, both SOX2 and OCT4 can be used as markers of pluripotent cells in the porcine embryonic disc. At the start of gastrulation, staining revealed VIMENTIN in the posterior of the embryonic disc, primitive streak and in migrating cells that underlay the embryonic disc and was also expressed in epiblast cells located in the anterior primitive streak. Together with serial sections of embryos stained by whole mount immunohistochemistry, the mesoderm differentiation pattern was shown as an ingression movement that took place at the posterior of the embryonic disc and with bilateral migration along the embryonic disc borders.
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