The human zona pellucida (ZP) and its changes during in vitro fertilization in oocytes at different maturational stages and polypronuclear ova at one- to four-cells stages were studied by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and correlative scanning electron microscopy (SEM). To define the microstructure of the ZP, its amorphous masking material was removed using a detergent (saponin), and its structural glycoproteins were stabilized with a cationic dye, ruthenium red, followed by osmium-thiocarbohydrazide treatment. These methods allowed in all samples the clear visualization of variously arranged networks of filaments composing the outer and inner surfaces of the ZP. These filaments were straight or curved, 0.1-0.4 microns in length and 10-14 nm thick as seen via TEM or 22-28 nm thick as seen via SEM (the difference in thickness was due to the presence of the metal coating for SEM). The filament arrangement was remarkably different between the inner and outer surfaces of the ZP and among the various stages studied. The filaments of the outer surface of the ZP were basically arranged in "large" and "tight" meshed networks. Mature oocytes and fertilized (polypronuclear) ova had a regular alternating pattern of wide and tight meshed networks of filaments. On the other hand, immature and atretic oocytes displayed almost exclusively a tight meshed network of filaments. The inner surface filaments of the ZP of unfertilized oocytes at any stage were arranged in repetitive structures characterized by numerous short and straight filaments anastomosing with each other and sometimes forming at the intersections small, rounded structures. After fertilization, the inner surface of the ZP displayed numerous areas where filaments fused together. Collectively, these data clearly reveal that oocyte maturation and fertilization in humans are accompanied by changes of ZP filaments arrangement, which may be relevant in the processes of binding, penetration, and selection of spermatozoa

Human zona pellucida during in vitro fertilizationan ultrastructural study using saponin, ruthenium red, and osmium-thiocarbohydrazide

MACCHIARELLI, GUIDO;
1992

Abstract

The human zona pellucida (ZP) and its changes during in vitro fertilization in oocytes at different maturational stages and polypronuclear ova at one- to four-cells stages were studied by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and correlative scanning electron microscopy (SEM). To define the microstructure of the ZP, its amorphous masking material was removed using a detergent (saponin), and its structural glycoproteins were stabilized with a cationic dye, ruthenium red, followed by osmium-thiocarbohydrazide treatment. These methods allowed in all samples the clear visualization of variously arranged networks of filaments composing the outer and inner surfaces of the ZP. These filaments were straight or curved, 0.1-0.4 microns in length and 10-14 nm thick as seen via TEM or 22-28 nm thick as seen via SEM (the difference in thickness was due to the presence of the metal coating for SEM). The filament arrangement was remarkably different between the inner and outer surfaces of the ZP and among the various stages studied. The filaments of the outer surface of the ZP were basically arranged in "large" and "tight" meshed networks. Mature oocytes and fertilized (polypronuclear) ova had a regular alternating pattern of wide and tight meshed networks of filaments. On the other hand, immature and atretic oocytes displayed almost exclusively a tight meshed network of filaments. The inner surface filaments of the ZP of unfertilized oocytes at any stage were arranged in repetitive structures characterized by numerous short and straight filaments anastomosing with each other and sometimes forming at the intersections small, rounded structures. After fertilization, the inner surface of the ZP displayed numerous areas where filaments fused together. Collectively, these data clearly reveal that oocyte maturation and fertilization in humans are accompanied by changes of ZP filaments arrangement, which may be relevant in the processes of binding, penetration, and selection of spermatozoa
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/13623
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