Nuclear localization of NORs and centromeres in mouse oocytes during folliculogenesis

Frank Longo, Silvia Garagna, Valeria Merico, Guido Orlandini, Rita Gatti, Renato Scandroglio, Carlo Alberto Redi, Maurizio Zuccotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mouse oocytes at the germinal vesicle stage are characterized by one of two nuclear morphologies: surrounded nucleolus (SN), in which the nucleolus is surrounded by a rim of Hoechst positive chromatin and not surrounded nucleolus (NSN), in which this rim is essentially absent. This morphological difference has a biological relevance as NSN oocytes are transcriptionally active, yet incapable of development beyond the two-cell stage. Whereas SN oocytes, which are transcriptionally inactive, are capable of development to the blastocyst stage. To further our understanding of the nuclear organization of the mouse oocyte during folliculogenesis, we have conducted a series of investigations employing silver methods that stain nucleolus organizer region (NOR), centromeres, and heterochromatin, as well as, specific antibodies for centromeres. Results obtained by a variety of microscopic methods (light, electron, immunochemical, and confocal) demonstrate: (1) a changing pattern of NOR staining during folliculogenesis that is specific to follicular type, and (2) significant differences in the organization of NORs and centromeres of isolated, antral NSN, and SN oocytes. These observations suggest possible means by which, chromosomes of mature, germinal vesicle oocytes are organized with respect to the nucleolus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-290
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Reproduction and Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1 2003


  • Heterochromatin
  • Nucleolus
  • Oogenesis
  • rDNA
  • Satellite DNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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