Meiotic Maturation of Mouse Oocytes in Vitro
“Meiotic maturation” of mouse oocytes takes place during the final phase of oogenesis and refers specifically to the process of nuclear progression from the diplotene (“dictyate”) stage of the first meiotic prophase to metaphase II. Meiotic maturation is characterized by dissolution of the nuclear (germinal vesicle) membrane, condensation of diffuse chromosomes into distinct bivalents, alignment of chromosomes on the metaphase I spindle, separation of homologous chromosomes and emission of the first polar body, and arrest of nuclear progression at metaphase II (Fig. 1). In the sexually mature female mouse, fully-grown oocytes in Graafian follicles resume meiosis and undergo meiotic maturation just prior to ovulation. The resumption of meiosis can be mediated by a hormonal stimulus in vivo or simply by the release of oocytes from their ovarian follicles into a suitable culture medium in vitro (1,2).
KeywordsZona Pellucida Polar Body Germinal Vesicle Mouse Oocyte Meiotic Prophase
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