Cytoplasmic determination of meiotic spindle size revealed by a unique inter-species germinal vesicle transfer model

Zhong-Wei Wang, Guang-Li Zhang, Heide Schatten, John Carroll, Qing-Yuan Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Spindle sizes are different in diverse species and cell types. In frogs, the meiotic spindle size is positively correlated with the egg cell volume. Across species, relatively small mouse oocytes (70–80 μm) have a relatively large spindle while larger pig oocytes (about 120 μm) have a considerably smaller spindle. In this study we investigated whether species-specific oocyte spindle size was determined by cytoplasmic or nuclear factors. By exchanging the germinal vesicle between mouse and pig oocytes, we obtained two kinds of reconstructed oocytes: one with mouse ooplasm and pig GV (mCy-pGV oocyte), and the other with pig ooplasm and mouse GV (pCy-mGV oocyte). We show that the MII spindle size of the mCy-pGV oocyte is similar to that of the mouse meiotic spindle and significantly larger than that of the pig meiotic spindle. The timing of oocyte maturation also followed that of the species from which the oocyte cytoplasm arose, although some impact of the origin of the GV was observed. These data suggest that spindle size and the timing of meiotic progression are governed by cytoplasmic components rather than cytoplasmic volume and GV materials.
Original languageEnglish
Article number19827
Number of pages9
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2016


  • fluorescence imaging
  • meiosis

Cite this