Role of Ooplasm in Nuclear and Nucleolar Remodeling of Intergeneric Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer Embryos during the First Cell Cycle

Initially, development of the zygote is under control of the oocyte ooplasm. However, it is presently unknown if and to what extent is the ooplasm able to interact with a transferred somatic cell from another species in the context of interspecies somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). Here, one-cell stage embryos were processed at different points in time post activation (2 hpa, 4 hpa, 8 hpa, and 12 hpa) for detailed nuclear and nucleolar analysis by TEM, and immunofluorescence for visualization of nucleolar proteins related to transcription (UBF) and processing (fibrillarin). Bovine and porcine intergeneric SCNT embryos were compared to their parthenogenetic counterparts to assess the effects of the introduced somatic cell. Despite the absence of morphological remodeling (premature chromatin condensation, nuclear envelope breakdown), reconstructed embryos showed nuclear and nucleolar precursor body (NPB) morphology similar to the host ooplasm, which, together with detected posttranslational activity of somatic cell introduced into the bovine ooplasm, suggests a universal function of ooplasmic factors. However, the lack of distinct UBF localization in intergeneric embryos indicates failures in sequence-specific interactions between the ooplasm and chromatin of another genus. In conclusion, the results demonstrate a possible reason why the intergeneric SCNT embryos never reached the full term


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