A common feature in the configuration of germinal vesicle (GV) chromatin in most species is that diffuse chromatin condenses into a perinucleolar ring during follicular growth; however, no such ring was observed in goat oocytes. Reports on whether bovine GV chromatin condenses into a perinucleolar ring are controversial. Besides, it is not known whether the perinucleolar ring in an oocyte represents a step toward final maturation or atresia. Changes in GV chromatin configurations during growth and maturation of bovine oocytes were studied using a new method that allows a clearer visualization of both the nucleolus and the chromatin after Hoechst and chromomycin A3 staining. On the basis of the degree of condensation and distribution, the GV chromatin of bovine oocytes were classified into five configurations: NSN with diffuse chromatin in the whole nuclear area, N with condensed netlike chromatin, C with clumped chromatin, SN with clumped chromatin surrounding the nucleoli, and F with floccular chromatin near the nucleoli and near the nuclear envelope. Most of the oocytes were at the NSN stage in the <1.4-mm follicles, but the NSN pattern disappeared completely in follicles larger than 1.5 mm. The SN pattern began to emerge in 1.5-mm follicles, and the number of SN oocytes increased while the number of oocytes with N and C configurations decreased with follicular growth. During maturation in vivo, while the number of N, C, and SN oocytes decreased, that of the F oocytes increased and reached maximum at 51 h post prostaglandin injection. After that, the number of F oocytes decreased significantly because of germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD). During maturation in vitro, GV chromatin configurations changed in a similar manner as during maturation in vivo. Fewer oocytes were at N, C, and SN stages, but more were at F and GVBD stages in the atretic than in the healthy follicles. Serum starvation slowed the F-GVBD transition of the in vitro maturing oocytes. More oocytes were of the SN or C configuration when ovaries were transported at 45-40°C than at 35-30°C. Most of the heated oocytes were blocked at the SN stage during in vitro maturation. It is concluded that (i) bovine GV chromatin condenses into a perinucleolar ring during follicular growth; (ii) bovine oocytes were synchronized at the F stage before GVBD; (iii) oocyte GV chromatin configurations were affected by serum starvation, high temperature, and follicular atresia.
- Chromatin configuration
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medical Laboratory Technology