Oocytes isolated from cows of reproductive age with reduced antral follicle counts (AFC) have a diminished capacity of embryonic development, which may be related to alterations in the mechanism that directs the proper segregation of chromosomes. Because we demonstrated that progesterone receptor membrane component 1 (PGRMC1) is involved in chromosome congression and metaphase II (MII) plate formation, the present study was designed to determine 1) if the decrease in oocyte developmental competence observed in dairy cows with a reduced AFC is due to a higher incidence of aneuploidy and 2) whether alterations in PGRMC1 contributes to the incidence of aneuploidy. Oocytes from ovaries with reduced AFC and age-matched controls were matured in vitro and the occurrence of aneuploidy determined as well as the mRNA level and localization of PGRMC1. Although oocytes from ovaries with reduced AFC were capable of undergoing meiosis in vitro, these oocytes showed a 3-fold increase in aneuploidy compared to oocytes isolated from control ovaries (P < 0.05). Although Pgrmc1 mRNA levels were not altered, PGRMC1 and aurora kinase B (AURKB) failed to localize to precise focal points on MII chromosomes of oocytes from ovaries with reduced AFC. Furthermore, when oocytes of control ovaries were cultured with an inhibitor of AURKB activity, their MII plate was disrupted and PGRMC1 was not properly localized to the chromosomes. These results suggest that alterations in PGRMC1 and/or AURKB localization account in part for the increased aneuploidy and low development competence of oocytes from ovaries with reduced AFC.
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Vol. 88 • No. 3