Using mouse oocytes to assess human gene function during meiosis I

Diego Marin, Alexandra L. Nguyen, Richard T. Scott, Karen Schindler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Embryonic aneuploidy is the major genetic cause of infertility in humans. Most of these events originate during female meiosis, and albeit positively correlated with maternal age, age alone is not always predictive of the risk of generating an aneuploid embryo. Therefore, gene variants might account for incorrect chromosome segregation during oogenesis. Given that access to human oocytes is limited for research purposes, a series of assays were developed to study human gene function during meiosis I using mouse oocytes. First, messenger RNA (mRNA) of the gene and gene variant of interest are microinjected into prophase I-arrested mouse oocytes. After allowing time for expression, oocytes are synchronously released into meiotic maturation to complete meiosis I. By tagging the mRNA with a sequence of a fluorescent reporter, such as green fluorescent protein (Gfp), the localization of the human protein can be assessed in addition to the phenotypic alterations. For example, gain or loss of function can be investigated by establishing experimental conditions that challenge the gene product to fix meiotic errors. Although this system is advantageous in investigating human protein function during oogenesis, adequate interpretation of results should be undertaken given that protein expression is not at endogenous levels and, unless controlled for (i.e. knocked out or down), murine homologs are also present in the system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere57442
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number134
StatePublished - Apr 10 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


  • Aneuploidy
  • Chromosome segregation
  • Fertility
  • Gene variants
  • Genetics
  • Issue 134
  • Meiosis
  • Oocyte


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