Nucleolar protein allocation and ultrastructure in bovine embryos produced by nuclear transfer from granulosa cells.

Research paper by J J Laurincik, V V Zakhartchenko, M M Stojkovic, G G Brem, E E Wolf, M M Müller, R L RL Ochs, P P Maddox-Hyttel

Indexed on: 14 Mar '02Published on: 14 Mar '02Published in: Molecular Reproduction and Development


In the present study immunofluorescence confocal laser scanning microscopy, autoradiography following (3)H-uridine incubation and transmission electron microscopy were used to evaluate the nucleolar protein localization, transcriptional activity, and nucleolar ultrastructure during genomic re-programming in bovine embryos reconstructed by nuclear transfer from granulosa cells into non-activated cytoplasts followed by activation. During the 1st cell cycle (1-cell embryos), no autoradiographic labelling was detected. Ultrastructurally, nucleoli devoid of a granular component were observed. During the 2nd cell cycle (2-cell embryos) autoradiographic labelling was also lacking and the embryos displayed varying degrees of nucleolar inactivation. During both the 3rd (4-cell embryos) and 4th (tentative 8-cell embryos), cell cycles autoradiographic labelling was lacking in some embryos, while others displayed labelling and associated formation of fibrillo-granular nucleoli. During the 5th cell cycle (tentative 16-cell embryos), all embryos displayed autoradiographic labelling and fibrillo-granular nucleoli. In some blastomeres, however, deviant nucleolar ultrastructure was observed. During the first cell cycle labelling of RNA polymerase I, fibrillarin, upstream binding factor (UBF) and nucleolin (C23) was localized to nuclear entities. During the 2nd cell cycle, only labelling of RNA polymerase I and fibrillarin persisted. During the 3rd and 4th cell cycle labelling of fibrillarin persisted, labelling of nucleophosmin (B23) appeared and that of nucleolin re-appeared. During the 5th cell cycle almost all embryos showed complete labelling of all proteins except for UBF, which lacked in more than half of the embryos. In conclusion, bovine granulosa cell nuclear transfer embryos showed re-modelling of the nucleoli to an inactive form followed by re-formation of fibrillo-granular nucleoli. The re-formation of fibrillo-granular nucleoli was initiated already during the 3rd cell cycle, which is one cell cycle earlier than in in vivo- and in vitro-derived bovine embryos. Moreover, in more than half of the embryos, UBF could not be immunocytochemically localized to the nucleolar compartment during the 5th cell cycle indicating lack of developmental potentials.