In this study the effects of mancozeb, a widely used ethylenebisdithiocarbamate fungicide, on mouse oocyte meiotic maturation and fertilization were analyzed. Oocyte cumulus cell-complexes were matured in vitro with or without increasing concentrations of the fungicide (from 0.001 to 1 μg/ml) that, due to its different stability in organic solvents and in water, was resuspended either in dimethyl sulfoxide or in culture medium. Although, about 95% of oocytes reached the metaphase II stage; mancozeb-exposed oocytes showed a dose-dependent increase of alterations in spindle morphology, and this negative effect was more evident when the fungicide was resuspended in culture medium. Under the latter culture condition, oocytes matured in the presence of 0.1 and 1 μg/ml mancozeb showed a significant reduction also in the formation of male and female pronuclei. These results indicate that mancozeb can adversely affect mammalian reproductive performance, likely by perturbing microtubular organization during meiotic maturation. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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