Faculty Research 1990 - 1999

Reversal of postmortem degeneration of mouse oocytes during meiotic maturation in vitro.

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Cell-Differentiation, Female, Fertilization-in-Vitro, Graafian-Follicle: cy, Meiosis, Mice, Mice-Inbred-C57BL, Oocytes: cy, Postmortem-Changes, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S, Tissue-Culture: mt

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J Exp Zool 1991 May; 258(2):240-5.




The developmental capacity of oocytes matured in vitro following isolation at the germinal vesicle stage from freshly killed mice (control) was compared with that of oocytes isolated from the carcasses of mice killed 3, 6, 9, and 12 hr earlier. The yield of intact, cumulus cell-enclosed oocytes decreased as the interval between death of the animal and removal of the ovary increased. After 15-16 hr of culture of medium containing follicle-stimulating hormone, the frequency of germinal vesicle breakdown, extrusion of a polar body, and cumulus expansion was equivalent in oocytes of all groups. The frequency of development of inseminated ova to 2-cell stage embryos in the control, 3, and 6 hr postmortem groups was the same but declined markedly in the 9 and 12 hr groups. There was also no difference in the frequency of blastocyst development from 2-cell stage embryos between the control, 3, 6, and 9 hr postmortem groups, but the 2-cell embryos in the 12 hr postmortem group did not develop to blastocysts. Thirty-six percent of the 2-cell stage embryos from the 6 hr postmortem group developed to live young after transfer to foster mothers. Follicles of 6 hr postmortem ovaries showed degeneration manifested as prominent crystalline inclusions within the oocytes and many pyknotic granulosa cells. The crystals disappeared within 1 hr of culture and the secondary oocytes appeared normal. The cultured oocyte-cumulus cell complexes, therefore, reversed degenerative changes induced by the death of the animal. This study demonstrates the feasibility of recovering developmentally competent oocytes from valuable recently deceased zoological, agricultural, and endangered mammals.

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