Acta Rheumatologica

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Growth of Mouse Oocytes to Maturity from Premeiotic Germ Cells├?┬áIn Vitro

Wei Shen

In the present study, we established an in vitro culture system suitable for generating fertilizable oocytes from premeiotic mouse female germ cells. These results were achieved after first establishing an in vitro culture system allowing immature oocytes from 12–14 day- old mice to reach meiotic maturation through culture onto preantral granulosa cell (PAGC) monolayers in the presence of Activin A (ActA). To generate mature oocytes from premeiotic germ cells, pieces of ovaries from 12.5 days post coitum (dpc) embryos were cultured in medium supplemented with ActA for 28 days and the oocytes formed within the explants were isolated and cocultured onto PAGC monolayers in the presence of ActA for 6–7 days. The oocytes were then subjected to a final meiotic maturation assay to evaluate their capability to undergo germinal vesicle break down (GVBD) and reach the metaphase II (MII) stage. We found that during the first 28 days of culture, a significant number of oocytes within the ovarian explants reached nearly full growth and formed preantral follicle-like structures with the surrounding somatic cells.