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Using the whole cell clamp technique, we have measured calcium-dependent currents and steady-state conductance in early sea urchin blastomeres. The calcium currents in M phase decreased from 8.5 microA/cm2 at the four-cell stage to 5.4 microA/cm2 at the eight-cell stage. In 16-cell stage embryos, calcium currents were 7.4 microA/cm2 in the mesomeres, 2.3(More)
Using the whole-cell voltage clamp technique, experiments were carried out on ascidian eggs to determine the role of intracellular Ca in the gating of fertilization channels. Raising the level of Ca by adding Ca to the intracellular perfusion medium or by loading the egg cortex (greater than 50 microM) with Ca through voltage gated channels did not lead to(More)
The genome of all cells is protected at all times by mechanisms collectively known as DNA repair activity (DRA). Such activity is particularly important at the beginning of human life, i.e. at fertilization, immediately after and at the very onset of embryonic development. DRA in early development is, by definition, of maternal origin: the transcripts(More)
Using the whole-cell voltage-clamp technique we have studied electrical coupling and dye coupling between pairs of blastomeres in 16- to 128-cell-stage sea urchin embryos. Electrical coupling was established between macromeres and micromeres at the 16-cell stage with a junctional conductance (G(j)) of 26 nS that decreased to 12 nS before the next cleavage(More)
We report an ion channel in the plasma membrane of unfertilized oocytes of the ascidian Ciona intestinalis that is directly gated by the second messenger ADP-ribose. The ion channel is permeable to Ca2+ and Na+ and is characterized by a reversal potential between 0 and +20 mV and a unitary conductance of 140 pS. Preinjection of the Ca2+ chelator(More)
There are two current hypotheses as to how the spermatozoon triggers the oocyte into activity; a transmembrane receptor mechanism involving G-proteins and a soluble sperm-factor mechanism. In this short review we show that the present data favours the idea of a soluble factor diffusing from the spermatozoon into the oocyte following plasma membrane fusion(More)
We have used ratiometric confocal microscopy and three fluorescence techniques to study the distribution and activity of mitochondria in frog oocytes during the early stages of oogenesis. Mitochondria in frog oocytes during oogenesis were characterised by a high ratio in the 'mitochondrial cloud' and perinuclear region and a low ratio in mitochondria freely(More)