Reproductive biomedicine online

Cytoplasm replacement following germinal vesicle transfer restores meiotic maturation and spindle assembly in meiotically arrested oocytes.

PMID 25985993


Both the cytoplasmic and nuclear compartments are essential for the acquisition of meiotic competence. This study assessed the role of the cytoplasm in meiosis resumption in meiotically arrested oocytes at the germinal vesicle (GV) stage. Mouse oocytes at GV stage were meiotically arrested with 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX). GV transfer was performed between IBMX-treated and non-treated (control) mouse oocytes, and between control mouse and human GV oocytes. Extrusion of first polar body (PB) was examined as an indication of nuclear maturation. Meiotic spindle assembly and chromosome alignment were examined by immunostaining. Results indicated that oocytes arrested with IBMX for 24 and 48 h exhibited reduced ability for meiotic maturation and for extruding the first PB when compared with controls (P < 0.01). IBMX-treated oocytes reconstituted with cytoplasm, but not GV, of control oocytes restored the assembly of meiotic spindle and meiotic maturation. Mouse oocytes reconstituted with GV of human oocytes underwent meiosis similar to that observed in mice, but not humans. Additionally, human oocytes reconstituted by mouse GV underwent meiosis similar to that observed in humans, but not mice. These findings suggest that cytoplasm replacement by GV transfer could represent a potential therapeutic option for women who do not produce mature oocytes during IVF.