Label-free in vivo Raman microspectroscopic imaging of the macromolecular architecture of oocytes

Philip Heraud, Katarzyna Maria Marzec, Qing-Hua Zhang, Wai Shan Yuen, John Carroll, Bayden R. Wood

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Confocal Raman spectroscopy (CRS) can provide information about oocyte competency through measurement of changes in the macromolecular architecture during oocyte development and maturation. Hitherto most spectroscopic studies have been limited to fixed oocytes due to the inherent difficulties working with live cells. Here we report the first three-dimensional images of living murine oocytes using CRS. We show that fixation induces significant changes in the macromolecular chemistry compared to living oocytes. A band at 1602 cm-1, assigned to a marker for mitochondria function was found in living oocytes but absent from fixed oocytes providing an in vivo marker. Fixation resulted in significant changes in protein and nucleic acid bands and the spatial distribution of organelles. Raman imaging of Metaphase I and II (MI, MII) and germinal vesicle stage oocytes showed changes in nuclear organisation and cytoplasm macromolecular architecture during these development and maturation stages related to changes in chromosome condensation, mitochondria aggregation and lipid droplet numbers.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8945
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017

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