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Hum Reprod. 1999 Sep;14(9):2357-61.

Reconstruction of mouse oocytes by germinal vesicle transfer: maturity of host oocyte cytoplasm determines meiosis.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, New York University Medical Center, 660 First Avenue, Fifth Floor, New York, NY 10016, USA.


We evaluated the maturational competence of mouse oocytes reconstructed by the transfer and electrofusion of germinal vesicles (GV) into anuclear cytoplasts of GV stage oocytes (both auto- and hetero-transfers), metaphase II stage oocytes or zygotes. Following in-vitro culture, the maturation rates of the reconstructed oocytes to metaphase II did not significantly differ between auto- and hetero-transfers (40/70 versus 95/144 respectively); these rates also did not differ from those of control oocytes (57/97) which were matured in vitro without micromanipulation and electrofusion. In contrast, when a GV was transferred into an enucleated metaphase II oocyte or a zygote, only a few reconstructed oocytes underwent germinal vesicle breakdown (5/30 and 2/21 respectively); moreover, none reached metaphase II stage. Cytogenetic and immunofluorescence analyses were conducted on hetero-GV oocytes that extruded a first polar body. Each oocyte showed two groups of chromosomes, one in the cytoplast and one in the polar body, as well as a bipolar spindle with twenty univalent chromosomes. Our findings suggest that oocytes reconstructed by GV transfer into a cytoplast of the same developmental stage mature normally in vitro through metaphase II. Such oocytes may be a useful research model to elucidate the cytoplasmic and nuclear mechanisms regulating meiosis and the relationships between meiotic errors and age-related changes in the oocyte.

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