Stephen J. Pickering

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The distribution of microtubules and microtubule organizing centers (MTOCs) during the development of cell polarity in eight-cell mouse blastomeres was studied by immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy using monoclonal anti-tubulin antibodies and an anti-pericentriolar material (PCM) serum. In early eight-cell blastomeres microtubules were found(More)
During the process of compaction, mouse 8-cell blastomeres flatten upon each other and polarize along an axis perpendicular to cell contacts. If the process of flattening is prevented, polarization can still occur, but does so in a lower proportion of cells than for control populations, and without the normal contact-directed orientation. We compared(More)
At fertilization in mammals the sperm activates development of the oocyte by inducing a prolonged series of oscillations in the cytosolic free Ca2+ concentration. One theory of signal transduction at fertilization suggests that the sperm cause the Ca2+ oscillations by introducing a protein factor into the oocyte after gamete membrane fusion. We recently(More)
There have been few investigations into the role of ion channels in mammalian early embryonic development, despite studies showing that changes in ion channel activity accompany the early embryonic development of non-mammalian species and the proliferation of mammalian cells. Here we report that a large-conductance, voltage-activated K+ channel is active in(More)
The distribution of alpha- and gamma-tubulin in human and mouse oocytes has been investigated immunocytochemically. Comparisons have been made between freshly recovered and aged oocytes (both human and mouse), and also between human oocytes before and after exposure to cryoprotectant. Control fresh human oocytes had compact anastral spindles oriented(More)
The effect of dimethylsulphoxide (DMSO) on the organization of the microtubular system of the mouse oocyte has been examined. Exposure to DMSO causes the immediate appearance of multiple, cold-resistant microtubular asters associated with the foci of pericentriolar material (PCM) normally present in the oocyte. More prolonged exposure to DMSO leads to(More)
The pattern of division of polarized 8-cell blastomeres with respect to the axis of cell polarity has been compared (i) for cells dividing alone with cells dividing in pairs, and (ii) for early and late dividing cells within a pair. Cell interactions do not seem to influence significantly the overall pattern of division within the population. The only(More)
The unfertilized oocyte, fertilized egg and early embryo (2-cell to 16-cell) of the mouse have been examined immunocytochemically for the distribution of antigens associated with the endoplasmic reticulum, the lysosomal and acidic vesicle fraction (100 kD antigen), Golgi apparatus (135 kD antigen) and coated vesicles (clathrin). The distribution of these(More)
The mechanism by which a surface pole of microvilli is generated in mouse 8-cell blastomeres has been investigated. 4-cell and 8-cell embryos (or cell couplets) were incubated for precise times during their respective cell cycles in medium containing cytochalasin D (CCD) to disrupt the microfilament system. The blastomeres were analysed immediately for the(More)