An intact sperm nuclear matrix may be necessary for the mouse paternal genome to participate in embryonic development.
We have been interested in determining the minimally required elements in the sperm head that are necessary in order for the paternal genome to participate in embryogenesis. We used an ionic detergent, mixed alkyltrimethylammonium bromide (ATAB), plus dithiothreitol (DTT) to remove the acrosome and almost all of the perinuclear theca, leaving only the sperm nucleus morphologically intact. We also tested the stability of the sperm nuclear matrix by the ability to form nuclear halos. Sperm nuclei washed in freshly prepared 0.5% ATAB + 2 mM DTT completely decondensed when extracted with salt, but nuclei washed in the same buffer that was 1 wk old, and then extracted with salt, produced nuclear halos, indicating stable nuclear matrices. When we treated sperm heads with freshly prepared ATAB+DTT and injected them into oocytes, none of the oocytes developed into live offspring. In contrast, sperm heads treated in the same way but with 1-wk-old ATAB+DTT solution could support development of about 30% of the oocytes to live offspring. Electron microscopy demonstrated that most of the perinuclear theca had been removed in both cases. These data suggest that at least in the mouse, the only component of the spermatozoa that is crucial for participation in embryologic development is the sperm nucleus with a stable nuclear matrix. (+info)
Development of nuclear transfer and parthenogenetic rabbit embryos activated with inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate.
The present study was carried out to evaluate the effects of different activation protocols, enucleation methods, and culture media on the development of parthenogenetic and nuclear transfer (NT) rabbit embryos. Electroporation of 25 mM inositol 1,4, 5-trisphosphate (IP3) in calcium- and magnesium-free PBS immediately induced a single intracellular calcium transient in 6 out of 14 metaphase II-stage rabbit oocytes evaluated during a 10-min recording period. The percentage of oocytes treated with IP3 followed by 6-dimethylaminopurine (IP3 + DMAP) that cleaved (83.9%) and reached the blastocyst stage (50%) was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than those activated with multiple pulses (61.6% and 30.1%, respectively) or treated with ionomycin + DMAP (52.9% and 5.7%, respectively). Development of IP3 + DMAP-activated rabbit oocytes and in vivo-fertilized zygotes in different culture media was studied. Development of activated oocytes to the blastocyst stage in Earle's balanced salt solution (EBSS) supplemented with MEM nonessential amino acids, basal medium Eagle amino acids, 1 mM L-glutamine, 0.4 mM sodium pyruvate, and 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS) (EBSS-complete) (40.6%) was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than those that developed in either Dulbecco's Modified Eagle's medium (DMEM)/RPMI + 10% FBS (15.5%) or CR1aa + 10% FBS (4%) medium. In addition, 100% of in vivo-fertilized rabbit zygotes developed to the blastocyst stage in EBSS-complete. A third set of experiments was carried out to study the efficiency of blind versus stained (Hoechst 33342) enucleation of oocytes. Twenty-nine of 48 blind enucleated and IP3 + DMAP-activated oocytes cleaved (60.4%), and 15 (31.2%) subsequently reached the blastocyst stage, whereas 9 of 52 oocytes enucleated using epifluorescence (17.3%) cleaved, and none of these reached the blastocyst stage. When the above parameters that yielded the highest blastocysts were combined in an NT experiment using adult rabbit fibroblast nuclei, 72.2% (39 of 54) of the fused nuclear transplant embryos cleaved and 29.6% (16 of 54) reached the blastocyst stage. (+info)
Production of cloned calves following nuclear transfer with cultured adult mural granulosa cells.
Adult somatic cell nuclear transfer was used to determine the totipotent potential of cultured mural granulosa cells, obtained from a Friesian dairy cow of high genetic merit. Nuclei were exposed to oocyte cytoplasm for prolonged periods by electrically fusing quiescent cultured cells to enucleated metaphase II cytoplasts 4-6 h before activation (fusion before activation [FBA] treatment). Additionally, some first-generation morulae were recloned by fusing blastomeres to S-phase cytoplasts. A significantly higher proportion of fused embryos developed in vitro to grade 1-2 blastocysts on Day 7 with FBA (27.5 +/- 2.5%) than with recloning (13.0 +/- 3.6%; p < 0. 05). After the transfer of 100 blastocysts from the FBA treatment, survival rates on Days 60, 100, 180, and term were 45%, 21%, 17%, and 10%, respectively. Ten heifer calves were delivered by elective cesarean section; all have survived. After the transfer of 16 recloned blastocysts, embryo survival on Day 60 was 38%; however, no fetuses survived to Day 100. DNA analyses confirmed that the calves are all genetically identical to the donor cow. It is suggested that the losses throughout gestation may in part be due to placental dysfunction at specific stages. The next advance in this technology will be to introduce specific genetic modifications of biomedical or agricultural interest. (+info)
How identical would cloned children be? An understanding essential to the ethical debate.
The ban on human cloning in many countries worldwide is founded on an assumption that cloned children will be identical to each other and to their nuclear donor. This paper explores the scientific basis for this assumption, considering both the principles and practice of cloning in animals and comparing genetic and epigenetic variation in potential human clones with that in monozygotic twins. (+info)
Developmental potential of mouse primordial germ cells.
There are distinctive and characteristic genomic modifications in primordial germ cells that distinguish the germ cell lineage from somatic cells. These modifications include, genome-wide demethylation, erasure of allele-specific methylation associated with imprinted genes, and the re-activation of the X chromosome. The allele-specific differential methylation is involved in regulating the monoallelic expression, and thus the gene dosage, of imprinted genes, which underlies functional differences between parental genomes. However, when the imprints are erased in the germ line, the parental genomes acquire an equivalent epigenetic and functional state. Therefore, one of the reasons why primordial germ cells are unique is because this is the only time in mammals when the distinction between parental genomes ceases to exist. To test how the potentially imprint-free primordial germ cell nuclei affect embryonic development, we transplanted them into enucleated oocytes. Here we show that the reconstituted oocyte developed to day 9.5 of gestation, consistently as a small embryo and a characteristic abnormal placenta. The embryo proper also did not progress much further even when the inner cell mass was 'rescued' from the abnormal placenta by transfer into a tetraploid host blastocyst. We found that development of the experimental conceptus was affected, at least in part, by a lack of gametic imprints, as judged by DNA methylation and expression analysis of several imprinted genes. The evidence suggests that gametic imprints are essential for normal development, and that they can neither be initiated nor erased in mature oocytes; these properties are unique to the developing germ line. (+info)
Injected nuclei in frog oocytes: fate, enlargement, and chromatin dispersal.
A method is described by which nuclei associated with some cytoplasm can be rapidly prepared from a suspension of cells. The method involves the use of lysolecithin and bovine serum albumin. Oocytes of Xenopus laevis were injected with about 200 nuclei perpared from human HeLa cells by this method. Nuclei were deposited in oocyte cytoplasm, in the oocyte nucleus, or in the dispersed contents of a ruptured oocyte nucleus. Injected HeLa nuclei enlarge up to several hundred times in volume in the course of a few days. Their enlargement is associated with chromatin dispersion, increased binding of an acidic dye, and with the reduction in size, and eventual disappearance, of nucleoli. The amount of HeLa nucleus enlargement is much greater when the oocyte nucleus is ruptured. The fate of injected nuclei was followed by the use of HeLa nuclei whose DNA had been previously labelled with [3H]thymidine. Labelled DNA does not pass from injected HeLa nuclei into the oocyte nucleus. Injected nuclei appear not to fuse with each other or with the oocyte nucleus. Nuclei prepared by the above method look morphologically healthy in oocytes cultured in vitro for up to one month after nuclear injection. Nuclei prepared by other methods, such as those involving the use of detergents, undergo deterioration within a few days after injection into oocytes. (+info)
Injected nuclei in frog oocytes:RNA synthesis and protein exchange.
Nuclei from HeLa and other mammalian cells have been injected into Xenopus oocytes. The synthesis, uptake, and release of RNA and proteins by injected nuclei have been investigated by autoradiography. Injected nuclei which undergo enlargement synthesize RNA continuously for up to 28 days. When oocytes are incubated in [3H]uridine or [3H]guanosine, injected nuclei are labelled nearly as strongly as the nucleoli, but much more strongly than the nucleoplasm of the oocyte's germinal vesicle. Injected nuclei appear to increase their rate of RNA synthesis during incubation in oocytes. This apparent increase in the rate of RNA synthesis is correlated with nuclear enlargement, as well as with the loss of protein from injected nuclei and with their uptake of histone and nonhistone proteins from oocyte cytoplasm. Injected HeLa nuclei lose most of the previously synthesized RNA from their nucleoplasm, but little if any of the RNA from their remaining nucleoli. (+info)
A reliable technique of nuclear transplantation for immature mammalian oocytes.
Transplanting a germinal vesicle (GV) to another enucleated oocyte provides a possible way to avoid age-related aneuploidy in metaphase II (MII) oocytes from older women. This study was conducted to examine the efficiency of each step of nuclear transplantation as reflected in the survival and maturation capacity of immature mouse oocytes subjected to this procedure. GV stage oocytes were retrieved from unstimulated ovaries. A GV removed with a small amount of cytoplasm (karyoplast) was transferred subzonally into a previously enucleated oocyte, which was then exposed to direct current to promote fusion. Such reconstituted oocytes were placed in culture to allow maturation, and some that had extruded a first polar body were fixed and processed for chromosome analysis. Each step of nuclear transplantation - survival, enucleation, grafting, and reconstitution - was successful in >90%, with the overall efficiency of reconstitution being 80%. The observation of normal karyotypes confirmed that the procedure did not increase chromosomal aneuploidy. An electrolytic medium, revealed to be superior for the reconstitution procedure, also allowed haploidization of the transplanted nucleus. These findings suggest that this technique can be applied to study the effects of a 'younger' woman's ooplasm on the disjunction of an 'older' woman's chromosomes during meiosis I. (+info)