Oertzenweg 19 b
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In mammals, the oocyte and preimplantation embryo are protected by the zona pellucida (ZP) consisting mainly of ZP glycoproteins, which are responsible for sperm binding, induction of the acrosome reaction and zona pellucida hardening to prevent polyspermia. The ZP proteins become increasingly important as possible predictors for in vitro cultured oocytes competence. As little is known about the stage-dependent expression of ZP1, ZP2 and ZP3 in marmoset monkey (Callithrix jacchus) oocytes, mRNA expression was investigated with real-time RT-PCR. Total-RNA was isolated from three different classes of marmoset oocytes; Class 1 oocytes from periantral follicles (<600 μm, n = 10), Class 2 oocytes from small antral follicles (600-1000 μm, n = 10) and Class 3 oocytes from large antral follicles (>1000 μm, n = 9). Compared with Class 1 oocytes mRNA expression of ZP1, ZP2 and ZP3 in Class 2 oocytes was significantly decreased. In Class 3 oocytes, the transcription of ZP1, ZP2 and ZP3 genes showed also a significant decrease compared with Class 1 oocytes. In this study a differently regulated expression of the ZP genes during late folliculogenesis with an obvious downregulation of ZP1, ZP2 and ZP3 could be demonstrated for the first time in the marmoset monkey.