Team 06: Molecular mechanisms of cell lineage differentiation in the early mouse embryo

Our team is interested in deciphering the molecular mechanisms regulating one of the first cell differentiation event that takes place in the embryo: the binary specification of epiblast (Epi) and Primitive Endoderm (PrE) within the Inner Cell Mass of the blastocyst during preimplantation.

This developmental program requires the concerted action of sequence-specific transcription factors and cell signalling


Our goal is to decipher the mechanisms of cell differentiation in the preimplantation mouse embryo.  We are focusing on Primitive Endoderm (PrE) versus Epiblast specification during blastocyst development and in the past years we have shown the interplay between different transcription factors such as Nanog for the Epiblast and Gata6, Sox17, Gata4 for the PrE. These findings have an important impact in stem cell biology, as embryonic stem cells (ES) are derived from blastocysts.

In collaboration with the team of A. Goldbeter/ G. Dupont a mathematical model was built (Bessonnard et al, 2014 Development) , uncovering novel features that were are currently investigating.

Research thematics


Last Name First Name Position Contact
Nicolas ALLEGRE profile picture ALLEGRE Nicolas Assistant Engineer
Katia BOUTOURLINSKY profile picture BOUTOURLINSKY Katia Engineer
Claire CHAZAUD profile picture CHAZAUD Claire Principal Investigator
Pouria HOSSEINNIA profile picture HOSSEINNIA Pouria Engineer
Victor NOWAK profile picture NOWAK Victor Ph.D Student
Pierre POUCHIN profile picture POUCHIN Pierre Research Engineer
Ronan QUENEC'HDU profile picture QUENEC'HDU Ronan Ph.D Student


  • 2022
    • N. Allegre, S. Chauveau, C. Dennis, Y. Renaud, D. Meistermann, L. Estrella, P. Pouchin, M. Cohen-Tannoudji, L. David and C. Chazaud, “NANOG initiates epiblast fate through the coordination of pluripotency genes expression.”, Nature communications, vol. 13 (1) , pp. 3550, 2022.
    • P. Pouchin, R. Zoghlami, R. Valarcher, M. Delannoy, M. Carvalho, C. Belle, M. Mongy, S. Desset and F. Brau, “Easing batch image processing from OMERO: a new toolbox for ImageJ.”, F1000Research, vol. 11 , pp. 392, 2022.
    • E. Despin-Guitard, R. Quenec'Hdu, W. Nahaboo, N. Schwarz, R. Leube, C. Chazaud and I. Migeotte, “Regionally specific levels and patterns of keratin 8 expression in the mouse embryo visceral endoderm emerge upon anterior-posterior axis determination.”, Frontiers in cell and developmental biology, vol. 10 , pp. 1037041, 2022.
  • 2021
    • D. Meistermann, A. Bruneau, S. Loubersac, A. Reignier, J. Firmin, V. Francois-Campion, S. Kilens, Y. Lelievre, J. Lammers, M. Feyeux, P. Hulin, S. Nedellec, B. Bretin, G. Castel, N. Allegre, S. Covin, A. Bihouee, M. Soumillon, T. Mikkelsen, P. Barriere, C. Chazaud, J. Chappell, V. Pasque, J. Bourdon, T. Freour and L. David, “Integrated pseudotime analysis of human pre-implantation embryo single-cell transcriptomes reveals the dynamics of lineage specification.”, Cell stem cell, vol. 28 (9) , pp. 1625–1640.e6, 2021.
    • K. Boutourlinsky, N. Allegre and C. Chazaud, “Ex Vivo Culture for Preimplantation Mouse Embryo to Analyze Pluripotency.”, Meth. Mol. Biol., vol. 2214 , pp. 1–10, 2021.
  • 2020
    • A. Huyghe, G. Furlan, D. Ozmadenci, C. Galonska, J. Charlton, X. Gaume, N. Combemorel, C. Riemenschneider, N. Allegre, J. Zhang, P. Wajda, N. Rama, P. Vieugue, I. Durand, M. Brevet, N. Gadot, T. Imhof, B. Merrill, M. Koch, P. Mehlen, C. Chazaud, A. Meissner and F. Lavial, “Netrin-1 promotes naive pluripotency through Neo1 and Unc5b co-regulation of Wnt and MAPK signalling.”, Nature cell biology, vol. 22 (4) , pp. 389–400, 2020.
  • 2019
    • T. Azami, C. Bassalert, N. Allegre, L. Valverde Estrella, P. Pouchin, M. Ema and C. Chazaud, “Regulation of the ERK signalling pathway in the developing mouse blastocyst.”, Development, vol. 146 (14) , 2019.
    • A. Tosenberger, D. Gonze, C. Chazaud and G. Dupont, “Computational models for the dynamics of early mouse embryogenesis.”, The International journal of developmental biology, vol. 63 (3-4-5) , pp. 131–142, 2019.
  • 2018
  • 2017
    • A. Tosenberger, D. Gonze, S. Bessonnard, M. Cohen-Tannoudji, C. Chazaud and G. Dupont, “A multiscale model of early cell lineage specification including cell division.”, NPJ systems biology and applications, vol. 3 , pp. 16, 2017.
  • 2016
    • A. Fiorenzano, E. Pascale, C. D'Aniello, D. Acampora, C. Bassalert, F. Russo, G. Andolfi, M. Biffoni, F. Francescangeli, A. Zeuner, C. Angelini, C. Chazaud, E. Patriarca, A. Fico and G. Minchiotti, “Cripto is essential to capture mouse epiblast stem cell and human embryonic stem cell pluripotency.”, Nature communications, vol. 7 , pp. 12589, 2016.
    • C. Chazaud and Y. Yamanaka, “Lineage specification in the mouse preimplantation embryo.”, Development, vol. 143 (7) , pp. 1063–74, 2016.
    • L. De Mot, D. Gonze, S. Bessonnard, C. Chazaud, A. Goldbeter and G. Dupont, “Cell Fate Specification Based on Tristability in the Inner Cell Mass of Mouse Blastocysts.”, Biophysical journal, vol. 110 (3) , pp. 710–22, 2016.
  • 2015
    • S. Chauveau and C. Chazaud, “Assessment of cell lineages and cell death in blastocysts by immunostaining.”, Meth. Mol. Biol., vol. 1222 , pp. 175–80, 2015.
  • 2014
    • S. Hermitte and C. Chazaud, “Primitive endoderm differentiation: from specification to epithelium formation.”, Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, vol. 369 (1657) , 2014.
    • S. Bessonnard, L. De Mot, D. Gonze, M. Barriol, C. Dennis, A. Goldbeter, G. Dupont and C. Chazaud, “Gata6, Nanog and Erk signaling control cell fate in the inner cell mass through a tristable regulatory network.”, Development, vol. 141 (19) , pp. 3637–48, 2014.
    • J. Artus and C. Chazaud, “A close look at the mammalian blastocyst: epiblast and primitive endoderm formation.”, Cell. Mol. Life Sci., vol. 71 (17) , pp. 3327–38, 2014.
  • 2013
  • 2012
    • F. Lavial, S. Bessonnard, Y. Ohnishi, A. Tsumura, A. Chandrashekran, M. Fenwick, R. Tomaz, H. Hosokawa, T. Nakayama, I. Chambers, T. Hiiragi, C. Chazaud and V. Azuara, “Bmi1 facilitates primitive endoderm formation by stabilizing Gata6 during early mouse development.”, Genes Dev., vol. 26 (13) , pp. 1445–58, 2012.
  • 2011
    • S. Frankenberg, F. Gerbe, S. Bessonnard, C. Belville, P. Pouchin, O. Bardot and C. Chazaud, “Primitive endoderm differentiates via a three-step mechanism involving Nanog and RTK signaling.”, Dev. Cell, vol. 21 (6) , pp. 1005–13, 2011.
    • H. Elatmani, V. Dormoy-Raclet, P. Dubus, F. Dautry, C. Chazaud and H. Jacquemin-Sablon, “The RNA-binding protein Unr prevents mouse embryonic stem cells differentiation toward the primitive endoderm lineage.”, Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio), vol. 29 (10) , pp. 1504–16, 2011.
  • 2008
    • C. Chazaud, “[Early embryogenesis in mammals: stem cells and first commitment steps].”, Med Sci (Paris), vol. 24 (12) , pp. 1043–8, 2008.
    • F. Gerbe, B. Cox, J. Rossant and C. Chazaud, “Dynamic expression of Lrp2 pathway members reveals progressive epithelial differentiation of primitive endoderm in mouse blastocyst.”, Dev. Biol. (NY), vol. 313 (2) , pp. 594–602, 2008-01-15 2008.