Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 July 2005
The aim of our study was to analyse the cytoskeletal organization of prepubertal goat oocytes. Microtubule and microfilament organization during in vitro maturation of prepubertal and adult goat oocytes and presumptive zygotes of in vitro matured–in vitro fertilized (IVM-IVF) prepubertal goat oocytes were analysed. Oocytes were matured in M-199 with hormones and serum and inseminated with frozen-thawed spermatozoa. Oocytes and presumptive zygotes were treated with anti-α-tubulin antibody and fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC)-labelled goat anti-mouse antibody to stain the microtubules. Microfilaments were localized by means of phalloidin 5 μg/ml conjugated with fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC-phalloidin). DNA was stained with propidium iodide. Stained oocytes were observed under a confocal laser scanning microscope. At the germinal vesicle nuclear stage, microfilaments were distributed at the cortex of the oocytes. After in vitro maturation, 91.7% of metaphase II (MII) oocytes from adult goats displayed microfilaments in the cortex and within the polar body and were characterized by the presence of a microfilament thickening at the cortical region over the meiotic spindle. In prepubertal goat MII oocytes only 5.7% of oocytes displayed microfilaments at the cortex and within the polar body. After insemination, most of the zygotes displayed microfilaments distributed at the cortex. An undefined microtubular network was observed in adult and prepubertal goat oocytes at the germinal vesicle stage. After in vitro maturation, 100% of MII oocytes from adult goats displayed microtubules on the meiotic spindle and within the polar body. This pattern of distribution was observed in 71.6% of prepubertal goat oocytes. Undefined microtubule networks were present in most of the zygotes analysed. In conclusion, cytoskeletal differences were found between prepubertal and adult goat MII oocytes. Furthermore, most of the zygotes from IVM-IVF prepubertal goat oocytes displayed cytoskeletal anomalies.
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