Strain dependency of TGFβ1 function during embryogenesis

Suhas Kallapur, Ilona Ormsby, Thomas Doetschman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


There is incomplete penetrance to Tgfb1 knockout phenotypes. About 50% of Tgfb1 homozygous mutant (Tgfb1(-/-)) and 25% of Tgfb1 heterozygous (Tgfb1(+/-)) embryos die during embryogenesis. In a mixed NIH/Ola x C57BL/6J/Ola x 129 background partial embryonic lethality of the Tgfb1(-/-) embryos occurs due to defective yolk sac vasculopoiesis and/or hematopoiesis. We show here that on a predominantly CF-1 genetic background, lack of TGFβ1 causes a pre-morula lethality in about 50% of the null embryos. This partial lethality is not reversed by transfer of Tgfb1(-/-) embryos to Tgfb1(+/+) hosts. The extent of embryonic lethality in Tgfb1(-/-) embryos ranges in a background dependent manner from 20% to 100%. Based on these and other studies it is clear that TGFβ1 acts at two distinct phases of embryogenesis: pre-implantation development and yolk sac vasculogenesis/hematopoiesis. The susceptibility for the pre-implantation lethality depends on a small number of genetic modifiers since a small number of backcrosses onto the high susceptibility strain C57BL/6 leads to complete penetrance of the lethality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-349
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999


  • Development
  • Gene targeting
  • Growth factors
  • Knockout mouse
  • Lethality
  • Pre-implantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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