Oocytes: Female germ cells derived from OOGONIA and termed OOCYTES when they enter MEIOSIS. The primary oocytes begin meiosis but are arrested at the diplotene state until OVULATION at PUBERTY to give rise to haploid secondary oocytes or ova (OVUM).Oogenesis: The process of germ cell development in the female from the primordial germ cells through OOGONIA to the mature haploid ova (OVUM).Oocyte Donation: Transfer of preovulatory oocytes from donor to a suitable host. Oocytes are collected, fertilized in vitro, and transferred to a host that can be human or animal.Oocyte Retrieval: Procedures to obtain viable OOCYTES from the host. Oocytes most often are collected by needle aspiration from OVARIAN FOLLICLES before OVULATION.Xenopus laevis: The commonest and widest ranging species of the clawed "frog" (Xenopus) in Africa. This species is used extensively in research. There is now a significant population in California derived from escaped laboratory animals.Meiosis: A type of CELL NUCLEUS division, occurring during maturation of the GERM CELLS. Two successive cell nucleus divisions following a single chromosome duplication (S PHASE) result in daughter cells with half the number of CHROMOSOMES as the parent cells.In Vitro Oocyte Maturation Techniques: Methods used to induce premature oocytes, that are maintained in tissue culture, to progress through developmental stages including to a stage that is competent to undergo FERTILIZATION.Xenopus: An aquatic genus of the family, Pipidae, occurring in Africa and distinguished by having black horny claws on three inner hind toes.Microinjections: The injection of very small amounts of fluid, often with the aid of a microscope and microsyringes.Fertilization: The fusion of a spermatozoon (SPERMATOZOA) with an OVUM thus resulting in the formation of a ZYGOTE.Metaphase: The phase of cell nucleus division following PROMETAPHASE, in which the CHROMOSOMES line up across the equatorial plane of the SPINDLE APPARATUS prior to separation.Cumulus Cells: The granulosa cells of the cumulus oophorus which surround the OVUM in the GRAAFIAN FOLLICLE. At OVULATION they are extruded with OVUM.Parthenogenesis: A unisexual reproduction without the fusion of a male and a female gamete (FERTILIZATION). In parthenogenesis, an individual is formed from an unfertilized OVUM that did not complete MEIOSIS. Parthenogenesis occurs in nature and can be artificially induced.Blastocyst: A post-MORULA preimplantation mammalian embryo that develops from a 32-cell stage into a fluid-filled hollow ball of over a hundred cells. A blastocyst has two distinctive tissues. The outer layer of trophoblasts gives rise to extra-embryonic tissues. The inner cell mass gives rise to the embryonic disc and eventual embryo proper.Ovum: A mature haploid female germ cell extruded from the OVARY at OVULATION.Sperm-Ovum Interactions: Interactive processes between the oocyte (OVUM) and the sperm (SPERMATOZOA) including sperm adhesion, ACROSOME REACTION, sperm penetration of the ZONA PELLUCIDA, and events leading to FERTILIZATION.Cryopreservation: Preservation of cells, tissues, organs, or embryos by freezing. In histological preparations, cryopreservation or cryofixation is used to maintain the existing form, structure, and chemical composition of all the constituent elements of the specimens.Ovary: The reproductive organ (GONADS) in female animals. In vertebrates, the ovary contains two functional parts: the OVARIAN FOLLICLE for the production of female germ cells (OOGENESIS); and the endocrine cells (GRANULOSA CELLS; THECA CELLS; and LUTEAL CELLS) for the production of ESTROGENS and PROGESTERONE.Sperm Injections, Intracytoplasmic: An assisted fertilization technique consisting of the microinjection of a single viable sperm into an extracted ovum. It is used principally to overcome low sperm count, low sperm motility, inability of sperm to penetrate the egg, or other conditions related to male infertility (INFERTILITY, MALE).Embryonic Development: Morphological and physiological development of EMBRYOS.Embryo Transfer: The transfer of mammalian embryos from an in vivo or in vitro environment to a suitable host to improve pregnancy or gestational outcome in human or animal. In human fertility treatment programs, preimplantation embryos ranging from the 4-cell stage to the blastocyst stage are transferred to the uterine cavity between 3-5 days after FERTILIZATION IN VITRO.Zona Pellucida: A tough transparent membrane surrounding the OVUM. It is penetrated by the sperm during FERTILIZATION.Maturation-Promoting Factor: Protein kinase that drives both the mitotic and meiotic cycles in all eukaryotic organisms. In meiosis it induces immature oocytes to undergo meiotic maturation. In mitosis it has a role in the G2/M phase transition. Once activated by CYCLINS; MPF directly phosphorylates some of the proteins involved in nuclear envelope breakdown, chromosome condensation, spindle assembly, and the degradation of cyclins. The catalytic subunit of MPF is PROTEIN P34CDC2.Spermatozoa: Mature male germ cells derived from SPERMATIDS. As spermatids move toward the lumen of the SEMINIFEROUS TUBULES, they undergo extensive structural changes including the loss of cytoplasm, condensation of CHROMATIN into the SPERM HEAD, formation of the ACROSOME cap, the SPERM MIDPIECE and the SPERM TAIL that provides motility.Zygote: The fertilized OVUM resulting from the fusion of a male and a female gamete.Cleavage Stage, Ovum: The earliest developmental stage of a fertilized ovum (ZYGOTE) during which there are several mitotic divisions within the ZONA PELLUCIDA. Each cleavage or segmentation yields two BLASTOMERES of about half size of the parent cell. This cleavage stage generally covers the period up to 16-cell MORULA.Embryo Culture Techniques: The technique of maintaining or growing mammalian EMBRYOS in vitro. This method offers an opportunity to observe EMBRYONIC DEVELOPMENT; METABOLISM; and susceptibility to TERATOGENS.RNA, Complementary: Synthetic transcripts of a specific DNA molecule or fragment, made by an in vitro transcription system. This cRNA can be labeled with radioactive uracil and then used as a probe. (King & Stansfield, A Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)Pregnancy: The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero before birth, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Egg Proteins: Proteins which are found in eggs (OVA) from any species.Nuclear Transfer Techniques: Methods of implanting a CELL NUCLEUS from a donor cell into an enucleated acceptor cell.Follicular Fluid: The fluid surrounding the OVUM and GRANULOSA CELLS in the Graafian follicle (OVARIAN FOLLICLE). The follicular fluid contains sex steroids, glycoprotein hormones, plasma proteins, mucopolysaccharides, and enzymes.Ovulation Induction: Techniques for the artifical induction of ovulation, the rupture of the follicle and release of the ovum.Cytoplasm: The part of a cell that contains the CYTOSOL and small structures excluding the CELL NUCLEUS; MITOCHONDRIA; and large VACUOLES. (Glick, Glossary of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 1990)Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-mos: Cellular proteins encoded by the c-mos genes (GENES, MOS). They function in the cell cycle to maintain MATURATION PROMOTING FACTOR in the active state and have protein-serine/threonine kinase activity. Oncogenic transformation can take place when c-mos proteins are expressed at the wrong time.Cryoprotective Agents: Substances that provide protection against the harmful effects of freezing temperatures.Vitrification: The transformation of a liquid to a glassy solid i.e., without the formation of crystals during the cooling process.Cell Nucleus: Within a eukaryotic cell, a membrane-limited body which contains chromosomes and one or more nucleoli (CELL NUCLEOLUS). The nuclear membrane consists of a double unit-type membrane which is perforated by a number of pores; the outermost membrane is continuous with the ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM. A cell may contain more than one nucleus. (From Singleton & Sainsbury, Dictionary of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, 2d ed)Polar Bodies: Minute cells produced during development of an OOCYTE as it undergoes MEIOSIS. A polar body contains one of the nuclei derived from the first or second meiotic CELL DIVISION. Polar bodies have practically no CYTOPLASM. They are eventually discarded by the oocyte. (from King & Stansfield, A Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)Embryo, Mammalian: The entity of a developing mammal (MAMMALS), generally from the cleavage of a ZYGOTE to the end of embryonic differentiation of basic structures. For the human embryo, this represents the first two months of intrauterine development preceding the stages of the FETUS.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Embryonic and Fetal Development: Morphological and physiological development of EMBRYOS or FETUSES.Pregnancy Rate: The ratio of the number of conceptions (CONCEPTION) including LIVE BIRTH; STILLBIRTH; and fetal losses, to the mean number of females of reproductive age in a population during a set time period.Infertility, Female: Diminished or absent ability of a female to achieve conception.Chorionic Gonadotropin: A gonadotropic glycoprotein hormone produced primarily by the PLACENTA. Similar to the pituitary LUTEINIZING HORMONE in structure and function, chorionic gonadotropin is involved in maintaining the CORPUS LUTEUM during pregnancy. CG consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is virtually identical to the alpha subunits of the three pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH, and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity (CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN, BETA SUBUNIT, HUMAN).Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Ovulation: The discharge of an OVUM from a rupturing follicle in the OVARY.Granulosa Cells: Supporting cells for the developing female gamete in the OVARY. They are derived from the coelomic epithelial cells of the gonadal ridge. Granulosa cells form a single layer around the OOCYTE in the primordial ovarian follicle and advance to form a multilayered cumulus oophorus surrounding the OVUM in the Graafian follicle. The major functions of granulosa cells include the production of steroids and LH receptors (RECEPTORS, LH).Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Xenopus Proteins: Proteins obtained from various species of Xenopus. Included here are proteins from the African clawed frog (XENOPUS LAEVIS). Many of these proteins have been the subject of scientific investigations in the area of MORPHOGENESIS and development.Cattle: Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.Morula: An early embryo that is a compact mass of about 16 BLASTOMERES. It resembles a cluster of mulberries with two types of cells, outer cells and inner cells. Morula is the stage before BLASTULA in non-mammalian animals or a BLASTOCYST in mammals.Progesterone: The major progestational steroid that is secreted primarily by the CORPUS LUTEUM and the PLACENTA. Progesterone acts on the UTERUS, the MAMMARY GLANDS and the BRAIN. It is required in EMBRYO IMPLANTATION; PREGNANCY maintenance, and the development of mammary tissue for MILK production. Progesterone, converted from PREGNENOLONE, also serves as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of GONADAL STEROID HORMONES and adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS.Meiotic Prophase I: The prophase of the first division of MEIOSIS (in which homologous CHROMOSOME SEGREGATION occurs). It is divided into five stages: leptonema, zygonema, PACHYNEMA, diplonema, and diakinesis.Reproductive Techniques, Assisted: Clinical and laboratory techniques used to enhance fertility in humans and animals.Spindle Apparatus: A microtubule structure that forms during CELL DIVISION. It consists of two SPINDLE POLES, and sets of MICROTUBULES that may include the astral microtubules, the polar microtubules, and the kinetochore microtubules.Chromosomes: In a prokaryotic cell or in the nucleus of a eukaryotic cell, a structure consisting of or containing DNA which carries the genetic information essential to the cell. (From Singleton & Sainsbury, Dictionary of Microbiology and Molecular Biology, 2d ed)Ethylene Glycol: A colorless, odorless, viscous dihydroxy alcohol. It has a sweet taste, but is poisonous if ingested. Ethylene glycol is the most important glycol commercially available and is manufactured on a large scale in the United States. It is used as an antifreeze and coolant, in hydraulic fluids, and in the manufacture of low-freezing dynamites and resins.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.Vitellogenesis: The active production and accumulation of VITELLINS (egg yolk proteins) in the non-mammalian OOCYTES from circulating precursors, VITELLOGENINS. Vitellogenesis usually begins after the first MEIOSIS and is regulated by estrogenic hormones.Swine: Any of various animals that constitute the family Suidae and comprise stout-bodied, short-legged omnivorous mammals with thick skin, usually covered with coarse bristles, a rather long mobile snout, and small tail. Included are the genera Babyrousa, Phacochoerus (wart hogs), and Sus, the latter containing the domestic pig (see SUS SCROFA).Genes, mos: Retrovirus-associated DNA sequences (mos) originally isolated from the Moloney murine sarcoma virus (Mo-MSV). The proto-oncogene mos (c-mos) codes for a protein which is a member of the serine kinase family. There is no evidence as yet that human c-mos can become transformed or has a role in human cancer. However, in mice, activation can occur when the retrovirus-like intracisternal A-particle inserts itself near the c-mos sequence. The human c-mos gene is located at 8q22 on the long arm of chromosome 8.Prophase: The first phase of cell nucleus division, in which the CHROMOSOMES become visible, the CELL NUCLEUS starts to lose its identity, the SPINDLE APPARATUS appears, and the CENTRIOLES migrate toward opposite poles.Base Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.Gonadotropins: Hormones that stimulate gonadal functions such as GAMETOGENESIS and sex steroid hormone production in the OVARY and the TESTIS. Major gonadotropins are glycoproteins produced primarily by the adenohypophysis (GONADOTROPINS, PITUITARY) and the placenta (CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN). In some species, pituitary PROLACTIN and PLACENTAL LACTOGEN exert some luteotropic activities.Superovulation: Occurrence or induction of release of more ova than are normally released at the same time in a given species. The term applies to both animals and humans.Growth Differentiation Factor 9: A bone morphogenetic protein that plays an essential role in the regulation of ovarian folliculogenesis.Blastomeres: Undifferentiated cells resulting from cleavage of a fertilized egg (ZYGOTE). Inside the intact ZONA PELLUCIDA, each cleavage yields two blastomeres of about half size of the parent cell. Up to the 8-cell stage, all of the blastomeres are totipotent. The 16-cell MORULA contains outer cells and inner cells.Bone Morphogenetic Protein 15: A protein that plays a role in GRANULOSA CELLS where it regulates folliculogenesis. Mutations in the gene for bone morphogenetic protein 15 are linked to reproductive abnormalities such as PREMATURE OVARIAN FAILURE.Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control of gene action during the developmental stages of an organism.CDC2 Protein Kinase: Phosphoprotein with protein kinase activity that functions in the G2/M phase transition of the CELL CYCLE. It is the catalytic subunit of the MATURATION-PROMOTING FACTOR and complexes with both CYCLIN A and CYCLIN B in mammalian cells. The maximal activity of cyclin-dependent kinase 1 is achieved when it is fully dephosphorylated.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Sperm Head: The anterior portion of the spermatozoon (SPERMATOZOA) that contains mainly the nucleus with highly compact CHROMATIN material.Aneuploidy: The chromosomal constitution of cells which deviate from the normal by the addition or subtraction of CHROMOSOMES, chromosome pairs, or chromosome fragments. In a normally diploid cell (DIPLOIDY) the loss of a chromosome pair is termed nullisomy (symbol: 2N-2), the loss of a single chromosome is MONOSOMY (symbol: 2N-1), the addition of a chromosome pair is tetrasomy (symbol: 2N+2), the addition of a single chromosome is TRISOMY (symbol: 2N+1).Cloning, Molecular: The insertion of recombinant DNA molecules from prokaryotic and/or eukaryotic sources into a replicating vehicle, such as a plasmid or virus vector, and the introduction of the resultant hybrid molecules into recipient cells without altering the viability of those cells.Microtubules: Slender, cylindrical filaments found in the cytoskeleton of plant and animal cells. They are composed of the protein TUBULIN and are influenced by TUBULIN MODULATORS.Culture Media: Any liquid or solid preparation made specifically for the growth, storage, or transport of microorganisms or other types of cells. The variety of media that exist allow for the culturing of specific microorganisms and cell types, such as differential media, selective media, test media, and defined media. Solid media consist of liquid media that have been solidified with an agent such as AGAR or GELATIN.Reproductive Techniques: Methods pertaining to the generation of new individuals, including techniques used in selective BREEDING, cloning (CLONING, ORGANISM), and assisted reproduction (REPRODUCTIVE TECHNIQUES, ASSISTED).Embryo Implantation: Endometrial implantation of EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN at the BLASTOCYST stage.Membrane Potentials: The voltage differences across a membrane. For cellular membranes they are computed by subtracting the voltage measured outside the membrane from the voltage measured inside the membrane. They result from differences of inside versus outside concentration of potassium, sodium, chloride, and other ions across cells' or ORGANELLES membranes. For excitable cells, the resting membrane potentials range between -30 and -100 millivolts. Physical, chemical, or electrical stimuli can make a membrane potential more negative (hyperpolarization), or less negative (depolarization).Mice, Inbred ICRInfertility: Inability to reproduce after a specified period of unprotected intercourse. Reproductive sterility is permanent infertility.Ectogenesis: Embryonic and fetal development that takes place in an artificial environment in vitro.Microscopy, Confocal: A light microscopic technique in which only a small spot is illuminated and observed at a time. An image is constructed through point-by-point scanning of the field in this manner. Light sources may be conventional or laser, and fluorescence or transmitted observations are possible.Gonadotropins, Equine: Gonadotropins secreted by the pituitary or the placenta in horses. This term generally refers to the gonadotropins found in the pregnant mare serum, a rich source of equine CHORIONIC GONADOTROPIN; LUTEINIZING HORMONE; and FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE. Unlike that in humans, the equine LUTEINIZING HORMONE, BETA SUBUNIT is identical to the equine choronic gonadotropin, beta. Equine gonadotropins prepared from pregnant mare serum are used in reproductive studies.Patch-Clamp Techniques: An electrophysiologic technique for studying cells, cell membranes, and occasionally isolated organelles. All patch-clamp methods rely on a very high-resistance seal between a micropipette and a membrane; the seal is usually attained by gentle suction. The four most common variants include on-cell patch, inside-out patch, outside-out patch, and whole-cell clamp. Patch-clamp methods are commonly used to voltage clamp, that is control the voltage across the membrane and measure current flow, but current-clamp methods, in which the current is controlled and the voltage is measured, are also used.Cyclin B: A cyclin subtype that is transported into the CELL NUCLEUS at the end of the G2 PHASE. It stimulates the G2/M phase transition by activating CDC2 PROTEIN KINASE.Fertility: The capacity to conceive or to induce conception. It may refer to either the male or female.Cell Aging: The decrease in the cell's ability to proliferate with the passing of time. Each cell is programmed for a certain number of cell divisions and at the end of that time proliferation halts. The cell enters a quiescent state after which it experiences CELL DEATH via the process of APOPTOSIS.Protein Biosynthesis: The biosynthesis of PEPTIDES and PROTEINS on RIBOSOMES, directed by MESSENGER RNA, via TRANSFER RNA that is charged with standard proteinogenic AMINO ACIDS.Cholestenes: Steroids with methyl groups at C-10 and C-13 and a branched 8-carbon chain at C-17. Members include compounds with any degree of unsaturation; however, CHOLESTADIENES is available for derivatives containing two double bonds.Mice, Inbred Strains: Genetically identical individuals developed from brother and sister matings which have been carried out for twenty or more generations, or by parent x offspring matings carried out with certain restrictions. All animals within an inbred strain trace back to a common ancestor in the twentieth generation.Propylene Glycol: A clear, colorless, viscous organic solvent and diluent used in pharmaceutical preparations.Kinetics: The rate dynamics in chemical or physical systems.Recombinant Proteins: Proteins prepared by recombinant DNA technology.Pregnancy Outcome: Results of conception and ensuing pregnancy, including LIVE BIRTH; STILLBIRTH; SPONTANEOUS ABORTION; INDUCED ABORTION. The outcome may follow natural or artificial insemination or any of the various ASSISTED REPRODUCTIVE TECHNIQUES, such as EMBRYO TRANSFER or FERTILIZATION IN VITRO.Tissue and Organ Harvesting: The procedure of removing TISSUES, organs, or specimens from DONORS for reuse, such as TRANSPLANTATION.Calcium: A basic element found in nearly all organized tissues. It is a member of the alkaline earth family of metals with the atomic symbol Ca, atomic number 20, and atomic weight 40. Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and combines with phosphorus to form calcium phosphate in the bones and teeth. It is essential for the normal functioning of nerves and muscles and plays a role in blood coagulation (as factor IV) and in many enzymatic processes.Cell Membrane: The lipid- and protein-containing, selectively permeable membrane that surrounds the cytoplasm in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.Estradiol: The 17-beta-isomer of estradiol, an aromatized C18 steroid with hydroxyl group at 3-beta- and 17-beta-position. Estradiol-17-beta is the most potent form of mammalian estrogenic steroids.Cyclin B1: A cyclin B subtype that colocalizes with MICROTUBULES during INTERPHASE and is transported into the CELL NUCLEUS at the end of the G2 PHASE.Biological Transport: The movement of materials (including biochemical substances and drugs) through a biological system at the cellular level. The transport can be across cell membranes and epithelial layers. It also can occur within intracellular compartments and extracellular compartments.Vitellogenins: Phospholipoglycoproteins produced in the fat body of egg-laying animals such as non-mammalian VERTEBRATES; ARTHROPODS; and others. Vitellogenins are secreted into the HEMOLYMPH, and taken into the OOCYTES by receptor-mediated ENDOCYTOSIS to form the major yolk proteins, VITELLINS. Vitellogenin production is under the regulation of steroid hormones, such as ESTRADIOL and JUVENILE HORMONES in insects.Microscopy, Fluorescence: Microscopy of specimens stained with fluorescent dye (usually fluorescein isothiocyanate) or of naturally fluorescent materials, which emit light when exposed to ultraviolet or blue light. Immunofluorescence microscopy utilizes antibodies that are labeled with fluorescent dye.RNA: A polynucleotide consisting essentially of chains with a repeating backbone of phosphate and ribose units to which nitrogenous bases are attached. RNA is unique among biological macromolecules in that it can encode genetic information, serve as an abundant structural component of cells, and also possesses catalytic activity. (Rieger et al., Glossary of Genetics: Classical and Molecular, 5th ed)Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Electrophysiology: The study of the generation and behavior of electrical charges in living organisms particularly the nervous system and the effects of electricity on living organisms.RNA, Messenger, Stored: Messenger RNA that is stored in a masked state for translation at a later time. Distinguish from RNA, UNTRANSLATED which refers to non-messenger RNA, i.e. RNA that does not code for protein.Chromatin: The material of CHROMOSOMES. It is a complex of DNA; HISTONES; and nonhistone proteins (CHROMOSOMAL PROTEINS, NON-HISTONE) found within the nucleus of a cell.Mice, Inbred CBAIon Channel Gating: The opening and closing of ion channels due to a stimulus. The stimulus can be a change in membrane potential (voltage-gated), drugs or chemical transmitters (ligand-gated), or a mechanical deformation. Gating is thought to involve conformational changes of the ion channel which alters selective permeability.Vitelline Membrane: The plasma membrane of the egg.Cell Culture Techniques: Methods for maintaining or growing CELLS in vitro.Menotropins: Extracts of urine from menopausal women that contain high concentrations of pituitary gonadotropins, FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE and LUTEINIZING HORMONE. Menotropins are used to treat infertility. The FSH:LH ratio and degree of purity vary in different preparations.Embryo, Nonmammalian: The developmental entity of a fertilized egg (ZYGOTE) in animal species other than MAMMALS. For chickens, use CHICK EMBRYO.DNA, Complementary: Single-stranded complementary DNA synthesized from an RNA template by the action of RNA-dependent DNA polymerase. cDNA (i.e., complementary DNA, not circular DNA, not C-DNA) is used in a variety of molecular cloning experiments as well as serving as a specific hybridization probe.Drosophila Proteins: Proteins that originate from insect species belonging to the genus DROSOPHILA. The proteins from the most intensely studied species of Drosophila, DROSOPHILA MELANOGASTER, are the subject of much interest in the area of MORPHOGENESIS and development.Hydroxyprogesterones: Metabolites or derivatives of PROGESTERONE with hydroxyl group substitution at various sites.Carrier Proteins: Transport proteins that carry specific substances in the blood or across cell membranes.Potassium Channels: Cell membrane glycoproteins that are selectively permeable to potassium ions. At least eight major groups of K channels exist and they are made up of dozens of different subunits.Germ Cells: The reproductive cells in multicellular organisms at various stages during GAMETOGENESIS.Dose-Response Relationship, Drug: The relationship between the dose of an administered drug and the response of the organism to the drug.Mutation: Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the GENOTYPE and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.Nucleoplasmins: A family of histone molecular chaperones that play roles in sperm CHROMATIN decondensation and CHROMATIN ASSEMBLY in fertilized eggs. They were originally discovered in XENOPUS egg extracts as histone-binding factors that mediate nucleosome formation in vitro.Bufo arenarum: A species of the true toads, Bufonidae, found in South America.Culture Techniques: Methods of maintaining or growing biological materials in controlled laboratory conditions. These include the cultures of CELLS; TISSUES; organs; or embryo in vitro. Both animal and plant tissues may be cultured by a variety of methods. Cultures may derive from normal or abnormal tissues, and consist of a single cell type or mixed cell types.Luteinizing Hormone: A major gonadotropin secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Luteinizing hormone regulates steroid production by the interstitial cells of the TESTIS and the OVARY. The preovulatory LUTEINIZING HORMONE surge in females induces OVULATION, and subsequent LUTEINIZATION of the follicle. LUTEINIZING HORMONE consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is common in the three pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity.Infertility, Male: The inability of the male to effect FERTILIZATION of an OVUM after a specified period of unprotected intercourse. Male sterility is permanent infertility.Fertility Preservation: A method of providing future reproductive opportunities before a medical treatment with known risk of loss of fertility. Typically reproductive organs or tissues (e.g., sperm, egg, embryos and ovarian or testicular tissues) are cryopreserved for future use before the medical treatment (e.g., chemotherapy, radiation) begins.Mice, Inbred C57BLIonophores: Chemical agents that increase the permeability of biological or artificial lipid membranes to specific ions. Most ionophores are relatively small organic molecules that act as mobile carriers within membranes or coalesce to form ion permeable channels across membranes. Many are antibiotics, and many act as uncoupling agents by short-circuiting the proton gradient across mitochondrial membranes.Hypoxanthine: A purine and a reaction intermediate in the metabolism of adenosine and in the formation of nucleic acids by the salvage pathway.Transcription, Genetic: The biosynthesis of RNA carried out on a template of DNA. The biosynthesis of DNA from an RNA template is called REVERSE TRANSCRIPTION.Sequence Homology, Amino Acid: The degree of similarity between sequences of amino acids. This information is useful for the analyzing genetic relatedness of proteins and species.Chromosomes, Mammalian: Complex nucleoprotein structures which contain the genomic DNA and are part of the CELL NUCLEUS of MAMMALS.Cell Nucleolus: Within most types of eukaryotic CELL NUCLEUS, a distinct region, not delimited by a membrane, in which some species of rRNA (RNA, RIBOSOMAL) are synthesized and assembled into ribonucleoprotein subunits of ribosomes. In the nucleolus rRNA is transcribed from a nucleolar organizer, i.e., a group of tandemly repeated chromosomal genes which encode rRNA and which are transcribed by RNA polymerase I. (Singleton & Sainsbury, Dictionary of Microbiology & Molecular Biology, 2d ed)Semen Preservation: The process by which semen is kept viable outside of the organism from which it was derived (i.e., kept from decay by means of a chemical agent, cooling, or a fluid substitute that mimics the natural state within the organism).Poly A: A group of adenine ribonucleotides in which the phosphate residues of each adenine ribonucleotide act as bridges in forming diester linkages between the ribose moieties.Blastodisc: A small whitish spot on the surface of the EGG YOLK where cleavage begins. Upon fertilization the cytoplasm streams from the vegetal pole away from the yolk to the animal pole where cleavage will occur. This germinal area eventually flattens into a layer of cells (BLASTODERM) that covers the yolk completely.Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome: A complication of OVULATION INDUCTION in infertility treatment. It is graded by the severity of symptoms which include OVARY enlargement, multiple OVARIAN FOLLICLES; OVARIAN CYSTS; ASCITES; and generalized EDEMA. The full-blown syndrome may lead to RENAL FAILURE, respiratory distress, and even DEATH. Increased capillary permeability is caused by the vasoactive substances, such as VASCULAR ENDOTHELIAL GROWTH FACTORS, secreted by the overly-stimulated OVARIES.Oogonia: Euploid female germ cells of an early stage of OOGENESIS, derived from primordial germ cells during ovarian differentiation. Oogonia undergo MEIOSIS and give rise to haploid OOCYTESSperm Capacitation: The structural and functional changes by which SPERMATOZOA become capable of oocyte FERTILIZATION. It normally requires exposing the sperm to the female genital tract for a period of time to bring about increased SPERM MOTILITY and the ACROSOME REACTION before fertilization in the FALLOPIAN TUBES can take place.Drosophila: A genus of small, two-winged flies containing approximately 900 described species. These organisms are the most extensively studied of all genera from the standpoint of genetics and cytology.1-Methyl-3-isobutylxanthine: A potent cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase inhibitor; due to this action, the compound increases cyclic AMP and cyclic GMP in tissue and thereby activates CYCLIC NUCLEOTIDE-REGULATED PROTEIN KINASESCell Polarity: Orientation of intracellular structures especially with respect to the apical and basolateral domains of the plasma membrane. Polarized cells must direct proteins from the Golgi apparatus to the appropriate domain since tight junctions prevent proteins from diffusing between the two domains.Nocodazole: Nocodazole is an antineoplastic agent which exerts its effect by depolymerizing microtubules.Phosphorylation: The introduction of a phosphoryl group into a compound through the formation of an ester bond between the compound and a phosphorus moiety.Horses: Large, hoofed mammals of the family EQUIDAE. Horses are active day and night with most of the day spent seeking and consuming food. Feeding peaks occur in the early morning and late afternoon, and there are several daily periods of rest.Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases, Type 3: A cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase subfamily that is inhibited by the binding of CYCLIC GMP to an allosteric domain found on the enzyme and through phosphorylation by regulatory kinases such as PROTEIN KINASE A and PROTEIN KINASE B. The two members of this family are referred to as type 3A, and type 3B, and are each product of a distinct gene. In addition multiple enzyme variants of each subtype can be produced due to multiple alternative mRNA splicing.Sperm Motility: Movement characteristics of SPERMATOZOA in a fresh specimen. It is measured as the percentage of sperms that are moving, and as the percentage of sperms with productive flagellar motion such as rapid, linear, and forward progression.Sus scrofa: A species of SWINE, in the family Suidae, comprising a number of subspecies including the domestic pig Sus scrofa domestica.Spisula: A genus of surf clams in the family Mactridae, class BIVALVIA. They are often used in EMBRYOLOGY research.Follicular Phase: The period of the MENSTRUAL CYCLE representing follicular growth, increase in ovarian estrogen (ESTROGENS) production, and epithelial proliferation of the ENDOMETRIUM. Follicular phase begins with the onset of MENSTRUATION and ends with OVULATION.Models, Biological: Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of biological processes or diseases. For disease models in living animals, DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL is available. Biological models include the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.Freezing: Liquids transforming into solids by the removal of heat.Chromosome Segregation: The orderly segregation of CHROMOSOMES during MEIOSIS or MITOSIS.Bivalvia: A class in the phylum MOLLUSCA comprised of mussels; clams; OYSTERS; COCKLES; and SCALLOPS. They are characterized by a bilaterally symmetrical hinged shell and a muscular foot used for burrowing and anchoring.Aquaporin 1: Aquaporin 1 forms a water-specific channel that is constitutively expressed at the PLASMA MEMBRANE of ERYTHROCYTES and KIDNEY TUBULES, PROXIMAL. It provides these cells with a high permeability to WATER. In humans polymorphisms of this protein result in the Colton blood group antigen.Fallopian Tubes: A pair of highly specialized muscular canals extending from the UTERUS to its corresponding OVARY. They provide the means for OVUM collection, and the site for the final maturation of gametes and FERTILIZATION. The fallopian tube consists of an interstitium, an isthmus, an ampulla, an infundibulum, and fimbriae. Its wall consists of three histologic layers: serous, muscular, and an internal mucosal layer lined with both ciliated and secretory cells.Live Birth: The event that a FETUS is born alive with heartbeats or RESPIRATION regardless of GESTATIONAL AGE. Such liveborn is called a newborn infant (INFANT, NEWBORN).Ion Channels: Gated, ion-selective glycoproteins that traverse membranes. The stimulus for ION CHANNEL GATING can be due to a variety of stimuli such as LIGANDS, a TRANSMEMBRANE POTENTIAL DIFFERENCE, mechanical deformation or through INTRACELLULAR SIGNALING PEPTIDES AND PROTEINS.Inositol 1,4,5-Trisphosphate: Intracellular messenger formed by the action of phospholipase C on phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate, which is one of the phospholipids that make up the cell membrane. Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate is released into the cytoplasm where it releases calcium ions from internal stores within the cell's endoplasmic reticulum. These calcium ions stimulate the activity of B kinase or calmodulin.Microscopy, Electron: Microscopy using an electron beam, instead of light, to visualize the sample, thereby allowing much greater magnification. The interactions of ELECTRONS with specimens are used to provide information about the fine structure of that specimen. In TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY the reactions of the electrons that are transmitted through the specimen are imaged. In SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY an electron beam falls at a non-normal angle on the specimen and the image is derived from the reactions occurring above the plane of the specimen.Spermatids: Male germ cells derived from the haploid secondary SPERMATOCYTES. Without further division, spermatids undergo structural changes and give rise to SPERMATOZOA.Sodium Channels: Ion channels that specifically allow the passage of SODIUM ions. A variety of specific sodium channel subtypes are involved in serving specialized functions such as neuronal signaling, CARDIAC MUSCLE contraction, and KIDNEY function.Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.Electric Conductivity: The ability of a substrate to allow the passage of ELECTRONS.Follicular Atresia: The degeneration and resorption of an OVARIAN FOLLICLE before it reaches maturity and ruptures.RNA-Binding Proteins: Proteins that bind to RNA molecules. Included here are RIBONUCLEOPROTEINS and other proteins whose function is to bind specifically to RNA.Acrosome Reaction: Changes that occur to liberate the enzymes of the ACROSOME of a sperm (SPERMATOZOA). Acrosome reaction allows the sperm to penetrate the ZONA PELLUCIDA and enter the OVUM during FERTILIZATION.Sodium: A member of the alkali group of metals. It has the atomic symbol Na, atomic number 11, and atomic weight 23.Acrosome: The cap-like structure covering the anterior portion of SPERM HEAD. Acrosome, derived from LYSOSOMES, is a membrane-bound organelle that contains the required hydrolytic and proteolytic enzymes necessary for sperm penetration of the egg in FERTILIZATION.Protamine Kinase: An aspect of protein kinase (EC 126.96.36.199) in which serine residues in protamines and histones are phosphorylated in the presence of ATP.Drosophila melanogaster: A species of fruit fly much used in genetics because of the large size of its chromosomes.Follicle Stimulating Hormone, Human: A major gonadotropin secreted by the human adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Follicle-stimulating hormone stimulates GAMETOGENESIS and the supporting cells such as the ovarian GRANULOSA CELLS, the testicular SERTOLI CELLS, and the LEYDIG CELLS. FSH consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. The alpha subunit is common in the three human pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH, and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity.Mitosis: A type of CELL NUCLEUS division by means of which the two daughter nuclei normally receive identical complements of the number of CHROMOSOMES of the somatic cells of the species.Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone: A decapeptide that stimulates the synthesis and secretion of both pituitary gonadotropins, LUTEINIZING HORMONE and FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE. GnRH is produced by neurons in the septum PREOPTIC AREA of the HYPOTHALAMUS and released into the pituitary portal blood, leading to stimulation of GONADOTROPHS in the ANTERIOR PITUITARY GLAND.Gene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.Microtubule-Organizing Center: An amorphous region of electron dense material in the cytoplasm from which the MICROTUBULES polymerization is nucleated. The pericentriolar region of the CENTROSOME which surrounds the CENTRIOLES is an example.Adenine: A purine base and a fundamental unit of ADENINE NUCLEOTIDES.Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction: A variation of the PCR technique in which cDNA is made from RNA via reverse transcription. The resultant cDNA is then amplified using standard PCR protocols.Tubulin: A microtubule subunit protein found in large quantities in mammalian brain. It has also been isolated from SPERM FLAGELLUM; CILIA; and other sources. Structurally, the protein is a dimer with a molecular weight of approximately 120,000 and a sedimentation coefficient of 5.8S. It binds to COLCHICINE; VINCRISTINE; and VINBLASTINE.Primary Ovarian Insufficiency: Cessation of ovarian function after MENARCHE but before the age of 40, without or with OVARIAN FOLLICLE depletion. It is characterized by the presence of OLIGOMENORRHEA or AMENORRHEA, elevated GONADOTROPINS, and low ESTRADIOL levels. It is a state of female HYPERGONADOTROPIC HYPOGONADISM. Etiologies include genetic defects, autoimmune processes, chemotherapy, radiation, and infections.Caenorhabditis elegans: A species of nematode that is widely used in biological, biochemical, and genetic studies.DNA: A deoxyribonucleotide polymer that is the primary genetic material of all cells. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms normally contain DNA in a double-stranded state, yet several important biological processes transiently involve single-stranded regions. DNA, which consists of a polysugar-phosphate backbone possessing projections of purines (adenine and guanine) and pyrimidines (thymine and cytosine), forms a double helix that is held together by hydrogen bonds between these purines and pyrimidines (adenine to thymine and guanine to cytosine).Gap Junctions: Connections between cells which allow passage of small molecules and electric current. Gap junctions were first described anatomically as regions of close apposition between cells with a narrow (1-2 nm) gap between cell membranes. The variety in the properties of gap junctions is reflected in the number of CONNEXINS, the family of proteins which form the junctions.In Situ Hybridization: A technique that localizes specific nucleic acid sequences within intact chromosomes, eukaryotic cells, or bacterial cells through the use of specific nucleic acid-labeled probes.Aquaporins: A class of porins that allow the passage of WATER and other small molecules across CELL MEMBRANES.Anti-Mullerian Hormone: A glycoprotein that causes regression of MULLERIAN DUCTS. It is produced by SERTOLI CELLS of the TESTES. In the absence of this hormone, the Mullerian ducts develop into structures of the female reproductive tract. In males, defects of this hormone result in persistent Mullerian duct, a form of MALE PSEUDOHERMAPHRODITISM.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying: Potassium channels where the flow of K+ ions into the cell is greater than the outward flow.Epithelial Sodium Channels: Sodium channels found on salt-reabsorbing EPITHELIAL CELLS that line the distal NEPHRON; the distal COLON; SALIVARY DUCTS; SWEAT GLANDS; and the LUNG. They are AMILORIDE-sensitive and play a critical role in the control of sodium balance, BLOOD VOLUME, and BLOOD PRESSURE.Sexual Maturation: Achievement of full sexual capacity in animals and in humans.Polycystic Ovary Syndrome: A complex disorder characterized by infertility, HIRSUTISM; OBESITY; and various menstrual disturbances such as OLIGOMENORRHEA; AMENORRHEA; ANOVULATION. Polycystic ovary syndrome is usually associated with bilateral enlarged ovaries studded with atretic follicles, not with cysts. The term, polycystic ovary, is misleading.Histones: Small chromosomal proteins (approx 12-20 kD) possessing an open, unfolded structure and attached to the DNA in cell nuclei by ionic linkages. Classification into the various types (designated histone I, histone II, etc.) is based on the relative amounts of arginine and lysine in each.Oncogene Proteins v-mos: Transforming proteins coded by mos oncogenes. The v-mos proteins were originally isolated from the Moloney murine sarcoma virus (Mo-MSV).Chlorides: Inorganic compounds derived from hydrochloric acid that contain the Cl- ion.Maternal Age: The age of the mother in PREGNANCY.Dimethyl Sulfoxide: A highly polar organic liquid, that is used widely as a chemical solvent. Because of its ability to penetrate biological membranes, it is used as a vehicle for topical application of pharmaceuticals. It is also used to protect tissue during CRYOPRESERVATION. Dimethyl sulfoxide shows a range of pharmacological activity including analgesia and anti-inflammation.Disorders of Sex Development: In gonochoristic organisms, congenital conditions in which development of chromosomal, gonadal, or anatomical sex is atypical. Effects from exposure to abnormal levels of GONADAL HORMONES in the maternal environment, or disruption of the function of those hormones by ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS are included.Mammals: Warm-blooded vertebrate animals belonging to the class Mammalia, including all that possess hair and suckle their young.