Chromatin and microtubule organization in the first cell cycle in rabbit parthenotes and nuclear transplant embryos

C. Pinto-Correia, P. Collas, F. A P De Leon, J. M. Robl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Artificial activation and nuclear transfer in rabbit oocytes have been used in past years in an attempt to develop viable techniques for cloning in cattle. The procedures established in our laboratory, using the rabbit as a model, consistently lead to high rates of development to the blastocyst stage. However, the rate of embryos developing to term is considerably lower. In the present study, we undertook a detailed immunocytochemical study of the patterns of both microtubules and chromatin during the first cell cycle of electrical pulse-activated oocytes and of nuclear transfer embryos. Our goal was to investigate the responses of the cell to the different stimuli applied and to establish the sequence of events leading to first cleavage in the absence of normal fertilization. Our results show that, in both electrically activated oocytes and nuclear transfer embryos, although the initial development patterns are rather unusual, embryos become synchronized at the time of the formation of a pronuclear-like structure, and then organize metaphase spindles and cleave. These spindles consistently present small defects, suggesting that problems in the formation of the mitotic apparatus during the first cell cycle may have a long-term effect leading to embryo mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)33-42
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993


  • Centrosome
  • Mammalian
  • Oocyte
  • Spindle

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.


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