Evaluation of developmental competence, nuclear and ooplasmic maturation of calf oocytes. Academic Article uri icon


  • In this study we evaluated nuclear and ooplasmic maturation of prepuberal calf oocytes to determine a possible cause for their low developmental competency. Calf oocytes resumed meiosis and arrested at the MII stage at rates similar to that of adult animals; however, zygotes derived from calf oocytes cleaved and developed at significantly lower rates. Ooplasmic maturation was assessed during oocyte maturation and fertilization. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that a majority of calf oocytes exhibited some delay in organelle migration and redistribution following maturation. Immunofluorescence microscopy showed that following IVF, a higher percentage of calf oocytes had abnormal chromatin and microtubule configurations than those of adult cattle. These anomalies were characterized by delayed formation of sperm aster and asynchronous pronuclear formation. Microfluorometry was used to characterize the Ca2+ responses of calf oocytes to the addition of agonists or after IVF. The addition of thimerosal demonstrated the presence of Ca2+ stores in calf oocytes. Injection of near threshold concentrations of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (InsP3), used to test the sensitivity of the InsP3R, released significantly less Ca2+ in calf than in cow oocytes, whereas higher concentrations of InsP3 (500 microM) released maximal [Ca2+]i in both oocytes. These results suggested that the Ca2+ content of intracellular stores was similar, but the sensitivity of the InsP3R may be different. Following insemination, calf oocytes exhibiting [Ca2+]i oscillations displayed comparable amplitude and intervals to cow oocytes; however, a significantly higher number of fertilized calf oocytes failed to show oscillations. Our findings suggest that the low developmental competence of calf oocytes can be attributed, at least in part, to incomplete or delayed ooplasmic maturation.

published proceedings

  • Mol Reprod Dev

author list (cited authors)

  • Damiani, P., Fissore, R. A., Cibelli, J. B., Long, C. R., Balise, J. J., Robl, J. M., & Duby, R. T.

citation count

  • 133

complete list of authors

  • Damiani, P||Fissore, RA||Cibelli, JB||Long, CR||Balise, JJ||Robl, JM||Duby, RT

publication date

  • December 1996