Activated bovine cytoplasts prepared by demecolcine-induced enucleation support development of nuclear transfer embryos in vitro

D. Fischer Russell, E. Ibáñez, D. F. Albertini, E. W. Overström

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25 Citations (Scopus)


Demecolcine-induced enucleation (IE) of mouse oocytes has been shown to improve development to term of cloned mice. In this study, we characterized the kinetics and morphological progression of bovine oocytes subjected to IE, and evaluated their ability to support embryo development to the blastocyst stage after nuclear transfer (NT). In vitro matured bovine oocytes were parthenogenetically activated and subsequently exposed to demecolcine at various times post-activation. Onset and duration of demecolcine treatment significantly altered activation and IE frequencies, which varied from 7.1% to 100% and 33.3% to 91.7%, respectively, at 5 hr post-activation. A significant decrease in IE frequencies was observed at 17 hr post-activation (3.4%-46.1%), possibly due to reincorporation of chromosomes into the oocyte after incomplete second polar body (PB) extrusion. Oocytes were reconstructed by NT before (treatment 1) or after (treatment 2) activation and demecolcine treatment, and cultured in vitro. Cleavage (48.1%-54.2%) and blastocyst rates (15.7%-19%) were equivalent for the two treatments, as well as the total cell number in NT blastocysts. Furthermore, most of the blastocysts were completely diploid (treatment 2) or heteroploid but with a majority of diploid nuclei (treatment 1). Our results demonstrate that the IE method can be successfully used to produce enucleated bovine cytoplasts that are competent to support development to the blastocyst stage after NT. This technically simple approach may provide a more efficient method to enhance the success rate of NT procedures. Further studies are needed to improve the in vitro development efficiency and to expand our understanding of the mechanism(s) involved in demecolcine-induced enucleation. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-170
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2005


  • Chemical enucleation
  • Embryo ploidy
  • Oocytes
  • Somatic cell cloning


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