Interactions of the meiotic spindle with mitotic chromosomes in GV mouse oocytes.
Chang C-C., Nagy ZP., Abdelmassih R., Liu J-L., Yang X., Tian XC.
During mitosis, a spindle checkpoint detects chromosome misalignment and halts the cell cycle progression. In meiosis of female germ cells, however, it is debatable whether such a checkpoint is present. This research employed a unique model in the mouse, mitotic chromosomes transferred to meiotic cytoplasts to investigate whether a meiotic oocyte's microtubule apparatus can effectively separate mitotic metaphase chromosomes, and whether a spindle checkpoint exists during its division. The intact germinal vesicle (GV) oocytes, enucleated GV cytoplasts, and enucleated GV cytoplasts at 15 h in-vitro maturation were transferred with a metaphase fibroblast cell. When mitotic chromosomes were transferred into enucleated or intact mouse GV oocytes, the first bipolar meiotic spindles were established and the reconstructed oocytes were able to extrude polar bodies. However, none of the reconstructed oocytes showed complete and accurate alignment of chromosomes, except the enucleated GV cytoplasts reconstructed after maturation. The spindle formation and polar body extrusion suggest that the first meiotic spindle was functional, and the chromosome misalignment did not prevent the onset of anaphase. The data indicate that a spindle checkpoint, providing surveillance of misaligned chromosomes, was overridden or compromised by the incompatibility between somatic chromosomes and meiotic spindles during the first meiotic division.