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Intercellular bridges are essential for human parthenogenetic cell survival.

Mechanisms of development (2015-02-24)
Georgia Pennarossa, Sara Maffei, Gianluca Tettamanti, Terenzio Congiu, Magda deEguileor, Fulvio Gandolfi, Tiziana A L Brevini
ABSTRACT

Parthenogenetic cells, obtained from in vitro activated mammalian oocytes, display multipolar spindles, chromosome malsegregation and a high incidence of aneuploidy, probably due to the lack of paternal contribution. Despite this, parthenogenetic cells do not show high rates of apoptosis and are able to proliferate in a way comparable to their biparental counterpart. We hypothesize that a series of adaptive mechanisms are present in parthenogenetic cells, allowing a continuous proliferation and ordinate cell differentiation both in vitro and in vivo. Here we identify the presence of intercellular bridges that contribute to the establishment of a wide communication network among human parthenogenetic cells, providing a mutual exchange of missing products. Silencing of two molecules essential for intercellular bridge formation and maintenance demonstrates the key function played by these cytoplasmic passageways that ensure normal cell functions and survival, alleviating the unbalance in cellular component composition.

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