Embryonic diapause is a special reproductive phenomenon in mammals that helps embryos to survive various harsh stresses. However, the mechanisms of embryonic diapause induced by the maternal environment is still unclear. Here, we uncovered that nutrient deficiency in uterine fluid was essential for the induction of mouse embryonic diapause, shown by a decreased concentration of arginine, leucine, isoleucine, lysine, glucose and lactate in the uterine fluid of mice suffering from maternal starvation or ovariectomy. Moreover, mouse blastocysts cultured in a medium with reduced levels of these six components could mimic diapaused blastocysts. Our mechanistic study indicated that amino acid starvation-dependent Gator1 activation and carbohydrate starvation-dependent Tsc2 activation inhibited mTORC1, leading to induction of embryonic diapause. Our study elucidates the essential environmental factors in diapause induction.

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