Successful cloning by nuclear transfer has been reported with somatic or embryonic stem (ES) cell nucleus injection into enucleated mouse metaphase II oocytes. In this study, we enucleated mouse oocytes at the germinal vesicle (GV) or pro-metaphase I (pro-MI) stage and cultured the cytoplasm to the MII stage. Nuclei from cells of the R1 ES cell line were injected into both types of cytoplasm to evaluate developmental potential of resulting embryos compared to MII cytoplasmic injection. Immunocytochemical staining revealed that a spindle started to organize 30 min after nucleus injection into all three types of cytoplasm. A well-organized bipolar spindle resembling an MII spindle was present in both pro-MI and MII cytoplasm 1 h after injection with ES cells. However, in the mature GV cytoplasm, chromosomes were distributed throughout the cytoplasm and a much bigger spindle was formed. Pseudopronucleus formation was observed in pro-MI and MII cytoplasm after activation treatment. Although no pronucleus formation was found in GV cytoplasm, chromosomes segregated into two groups in response to activation. Only 8.1% of reconstructed embryos with pro-MI cytoplasm developed to the morula stage after culture in CZB medium. In contrast, 53.5% of embryos reconstructed with MII cytoplasm developed to the morula/blastocyst stage, and 5.3% of transferred embryos developed to term. These results indicate that GV material is essential for nucleus remodeling after nuclear transfer.
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