Fusion of large and small karyoplasts produced from metaphase II mouse oocytes with interphase blastomeres from 2-cell and 8-cell embryos (volume ratio of partners, 1:1) results in premature chromosome condensation (PCC) of the interphase nucleus in the majority of the fusion products (hybrids). Fused under the same experimental protocol, oocyte-derived cytoplasts also induce PCC of the blastomere nucleus in the fusion products (cybrids) provided they originate from recently ovulated oocytes (141/2-15 h after injection of human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG)). In cytoplasts derived from older oocytes (16–20 h post-HCG) chromosome condensation activity gradually decreases with time as can be inferred from the increasing proportion of cybrids retaining interphase blastomere nuclei. However, even the oldest cytoplasts (19–20 h post-HCG) can induce PCC if the cytoplast volume significantly exceeds the volume of the interphase partner (7:1). We postulate that the condensation activity is predominantly bound to the nuclear apparatus (most probably to the chromosomes), and that in the cytoplasm of metaphase II mouse oocyte it decreases with post-ovulatory age.

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