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Mondadori R.G.,Molecular Biology Graduation Program | Mondadori R.G.,Animal Reproduction Laboratory | Santin T.R.,Animal Reproduction Laboratory | Fidelis A.A.G.,Animal Reproduction Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
Reproduction in Domestic Animals | Year: 2010

Contents: The main objectives of the present study were to determine the ultrastructural modifications occurring in the oocyte during late folliculogenesis and to estimate pre-antral follicle population in buffalo. Half the collected ovaries were fixed and prepared for optic microscopy; the antral follicles from the other ovaries were measured and individually punctured. The cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were processed for transmission electron microscopy. The number of pre-antral follicles in buffalo ovaries was estimated at 19 819 structures. Cumulus-oocyte complexes derived from 1-mm antral follicle had an eccentrical nucleus and compact corona radiata, ooplasm vilosities were fully embedded in zona pellucida (ZP) and a well-defined junction could be observed. Mitochondria were predominantly round and well distributed in ooplasm, as were small lipid vacuoles. In COCs derived from 2-mm antral follicles, the initial formation of perivitelline space was observed. The nucleus was peripherally located and the number of pleomorphic mitochondria increased. Cortical granules were clustered at oocyte periphery and lipid vacuoles increased in number and size. In COCs derived from 6-mm antral follicles, the organelles were located mainly in the perinuclear region. Golgi complexes and smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER) were more developed. Mitochondria migrated to the cortical region and lipid vacuoles migrated to the medullar region. In COCs derived from 10-mm antral follicles, the lipid vacuoles coalesced and occupied the medullar region of the oocyte, together with a well-developed SER. Mitochondria were pleomorphic and located at the oocyte periphery. In conclusion, the morphological differences described in this paper could be responsible for some functional differences observed in in vitro embryo production and follicular dynamics for buffalo, when compared with cattle. © 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation. © 2008 Blackwell Verlag.

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