The distribution and requirements of microtubules and microfilaments during fertilization and parthenogenesis in pig oocytes.

Journal of reproduction and fertility

PubMedID: 9370978

Kim NH, Chung KS, Day BN. The distribution and requirements of microtubules and microfilaments during fertilization and parthenogenesis in pig oocytes. J Reprod Fertil. 1997;111(1):143-9.
Microtubules and microfilaments are major cytoskeletal elements in mammalian ova and are important modulators of many fertilization and post-fertilization events. In this study, the integrated distribution of microtubules and microfilaments in pig oocytes were examined under a laser scanning confocal microscope, and the requirements of their assembly during in vitro fertilization and parthenogenesis in in vitro matured pig oocytes were determined. After sperm penetration, an aster of microtubules was produced in the spermatozoon, and this microtubule aster filled the whole cytoplasm during pronuclear movement. During pronuclear formation after activation by insemination, microfilaments became concentrated at the male and female pronuclei and, after electrical stimulation, at the female pronucleus. At metaphase of cleavage, microtubules were detected in the spindle and microfilaments were found mainly in the cortex. At anaphase, microtubule asters assembled at each spindle pole. During cleavage, large asters filled each daughter blastomere and a microfilament-rich cleavage furrow was observed. Cytochalasin B, a microfilament inhibitor, inhibited microfilament polymerization but affected neither pronuclear formation nor movement. However, syngamy and cell division were inhibited in eggs treated with cytochalasin B. Treatment with nocodazole after sperm penetration inhibited microtubule assembly and prevented migration leading to pronuclear union and cell division. These results indicate that microtubule and microfilament assembly in pig oocytes are integrated during fertilization and are required for the union of sperm and egg nuclei and for subsequent cell division.