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Gastruloids - a minimalistic model to study complex developmental metabolism.

  • Dingare, Chaitanya
  • Steventon, Ben
Publication Date
Dec 15, 2023
Apollo - University of Cambridge Repository
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Metabolic networks are well placed to orchestrate the coordination of multiple cellular processes associated with embryonic development such as cell growth, proliferation, differentiation and cell movement. Here, we discuss the advantages that gastruloids, aggregates of mammalian embryonic stem cells that self-assemble a rudimentary body plan, have for uncovering the instructive role of metabolic pathways play in directing developmental processes. We emphasise the importance of using such reductionist systems to link specific pathways to defined events of early mammalian development and their utility for obtaining enough material for metabolomic studies. Finally, we review the ways in which the basic gastruloid protocol can be adapted to obtain specific models of embryonic cell types, tissues and regions. Together, we propose that gastruloids are an ideal system to rapidly uncover new mechanistic links between developmental signalling pathways and metabolic networks, which can then inform precise in vivo studies to confirm their function in the embryo.

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