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Mol Reprod Dev. 1997 Mar;46(3):351-62.

Stage specific effects of carbendazim (MBC) on meiotic cell cycle progression in mouse oocytes.

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Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, Tufts University Health Science Schools, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.


The effects of the pesticide carbendazim (MBC) on the in vitro meiotic maturation of mouse oocytes were evaluated using conventional and confocal fluorescence microscopy. The response of oocytes exposed to 0, 3, 10, or 30 microM MBC during meiotic maturation was analyzed with respect to chromosome organization, meiotic spindle microtubules, and cortical actin using fluorescent labels for each of these structures. Continuous exposure to MBC during the resumption of meiosis resulted in a dose-dependent inhibition of meiotic cell cycle progression at metaphase of meiosis-1. Drug exposure at the metaphase-anaphase transition of meiosis-1 did not interfere with cell cycle progression to metaphase-2 except at high concentrations (30 microM). At the level of spindle microtubule organization, MBC caused a loss of nonacetylated microtubules and a decrease in spindle size at 3 or 10 microM concentrations. Thirty microM MBC prevented spindle assembly when added at the beginning of meiotic maturation or caused spindle pole disruption and fragmentation when added to preformed spindles. Spindle disruption involved a loss of phosphoprotein epitopes, as monitored by MPM-2 staining, and resulted in the appearance of dispersed chromosomes that retained a metaphase-plate location on spindle fragments associated with the oocyte cortex. Polar body extrusion was impaired by MBC, and abnormal polar bodies were observed in most treated oocytes. The results suggest that MBC disrupts cell cycle progression in mouse oocytes by altering meiotic spindle microtubule stability and spindle pole integrity.

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