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At present, oocyte selection is mainly based upon morphological criteria but it is generally acknowledged that its reliability requires further improvement. The aim of this study was to determine whether transcript levels in cumulus cells can provide a useful marker of oocyte developmental competence in vitro. A retrospective study was performed on cumulus(More)
Molecules of mRNA are stored in the oocyte cytoplasm in order to be used during the initial phases of embryonic development. The storage takes place during oocyte growth and the extent of poly(A) tail at the 3' end of the transcripts has emerged as an important regulatory element for determining their stability. The objective of the present study was to(More)
In this study we analyzed the pattern of polyadenylation changes that takes place between the resumption of meiosis and the first cleavage of bovine oocytes. Moreover, we investigated whether the delayed occurrence of the first cleavage division, which characterizes embryos of low developmental competence, is accompanied by an altered polyadenylation(More)
The efficiency of breeding schemes is dependent on the high fecundity of the selected individuals. Reproductive technologies are constantly pushing the physiological limits, but while the male reproductive potential is almost fully exploited, female reproductive physiology is the subject of constant research. Since the number of offspring that a female can(More)
Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) represent a promising tool for cell therapy, regenerative medicine and tissue repair. At the same time they constitute an invaluable model for basic investigations in developmental biology, nuclear reprogramming and differentiation process. ESCs are very unique due to their unlimited self-renewal ability and high plasticity that(More)
Environmental xenobiotics have been shown to act as endocrine disruptors and to be implicated in increased cancer susceptibility. In particular, there is a significant concern regarding the impact of these contaminants on prostate cancer development and progression. However, the mechanisms with which these contaminants exert their detrimental effects are(More)
The progression of oocyte meiosis is accompanied by major changes in the ooplasm that play a key role in the completion of a coordinate nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation. We review evidence from the literature and present data obtained in our laboratory on different aspects of pig oocyte cytoplasm compartmentalization during maturation and early embryo(More)
Currently, approximately 60 chemicals have been identified as endocrine disruptors (EDs): exogenous agents that interfere with the synthesis, secretion, transport, metabolism, binding, action, or elimination of natural blood-borne hormones. Farm animals ingest these substances with food and drinking water. Their stability and lipid solubility has led to(More)
Zygote arrest 1 (Zar1) is an ovary-specific maternal factor that plays an essential role during the oocyte-to-embryo transition in mouse. In this species, Zar1 expression is strictly limited to the oocyte, the zygote and, at a lower level, the 2-cell embryo. Aim of the present study was to analyze the presence and the expression pattern of the Zar1 ortholog(More)
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) can interfere with normal reproductive functions acting as endocrine disruptors. Aroclor-1254 (A-1254), is a pool of more than 60 congeners used for in vitro studies because its composition is representative of PCBs environmental pollution. We previously demonstrated that the exposure of bovine oocytes to A-1254 during in(More)