Summary. Preimplantation mouse embryos that were exposed to fluorescein diacetate (FDA) accumulated intracellular fluorescein and fluoresced brightly under ultraviolet (u.v.) light. The rate at which intracellular fluorescein was lost from the cells was measured at 37, 28 and 4°C and the rate decreased as the storage temperature decreased. The rate at which intracellular fluorescein accumulated increased as FDA concentration increased until a maximum rate was attained. The ability to accumulate intracellular fluorescein could be removed by heating embryos at 56°C for 30 min or by damaging the cell membrane. Cells grown under inadequate culture conditions lost the ability to accumulate intracellular fluorescein. Exposure of 2-cell mouse embryos to FDA and u.v. light did not alter the rate of blastocyst formation in vitro, and exposure of blastocysts to FDA and u.v. light did not alter the rate of implantation or post-implantation development in vivo.
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