Acentriolar spindle assembly in mammalian female meiosis and the consequences of its perturbations on human reproduction

Cecilia S. Blengini, Karen Schindler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The purpose of meiosis is to generate developmentally competent, haploid gametes with the correct number of chromosomes. For reasons not completely understood, female meiosis is more prone to chromosome segregation errors than meiosis in males, leading to an abnormal number of chromosomes, or aneuploidy, in gametes. Meiotic spindles are the cellular machinery essential for the proper segregation of chromosomes. One unique feature of spindle structures in female meiosis is spindles poles that lack centrioles. The process of building a meiotic spindle without centrioles is complex and requires precise coordination of different structural components, assembly factors, motor proteins, and signaling molecules at specific times and locations to regulate each step. In this review, we discuss the basics of spindle formation during oocyte meiotic maturation focusing on mouse and human studies. Finally, we review different factors that could alter the process of spindle formation and its stability. We conclude with a discussion of how different assisted reproductive technologies could affect spindles and the consequences these perturbations may have for subsequent embryo development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-263
Number of pages11
JournalBiology of reproduction
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Reproductive Medicine


  • Assisted reproductive technologies
  • Embryo
  • Meiosis
  • Oocyte
  • Spindle
  • Spindle defects


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