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Parthenogenetic activation of the mammalian oocyte constitutes an essential step to a number of oocyte- or embryo-related technologies. Mammalian parthenotes are useful tools for studying the roles of paternal and maternal genomes in early mammalian development and are considered potential candidates for an ethical source of embryonic stem cells. We investigated the in vitro developmental competence of pre-implantation ovine embryos derived from in vitro fertilization (IVF) and parthenogenetic activation (PA) together with the expression of a panel of fourteen genes at different times of development. IVF and PA embryos showed similar developmental competence. No differences in gene expression were observed between PA and IVF two cell-stage embryos, while PA morulae showed a significantly higher expression of IGF2. At the blastocyst stage, parthenotes exhibited up-regulation of TP-1, CDC2, and IGF2 transcripts and significantly lower levels of AQP3, ATP1A1, H2A.Z, hsp90beta, and OCT4, while NANOG, BAX, CCNB1, CDH1, GAPDH, and IGF2R displayed similar expression patterns in the two groups. Our study indicates that oocyte parthenogenetic activation does not impair in vitro pre-implantation development to the blastocyst stage, but affects the gene expression status of the embryo after the activation of its own genome. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Daniela Bebbere, Luisa Bogliolo, Federica Ariu, Stefano Fois, Giovanni Giuseppe Leoni, Sara Succu, Fiammetta Berlinguer, Sergio Ledda. Different temporal gene expression patterns for ovine pre-implantation embryos produced by parthenogenesis or in vitro fertilization. Theriogenology. 2010 Sep 15;74(5):712-23

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PMID: 20451995

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