The appearance of glycoconjugates associated with cortical granule release during mouse fertilization

S. H. Lee, K. K. Ahuja, D. J. Gilburt, D. G. Whittingham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


For the first time, we have shown with appropriately labelled lectins that fucosyl- and sialyl-rich glycoconjugates are released into the perivitelline space of the mouse oocyte after activation by the fertilizing spermatozoon or artificial activation by the calcium ionophore A23187 or ethanol. The glycoconjugates show a punctuate distribution over the oocyte surface except for the microvilli-free area overlying the second meiotic spindle from which they are absent. Their appearance in the perivitelline space is associated with the release of the cortical granules suggesting that they represent part of the cortical granule exudate. Soon after the glycoconjugates appear, they begin to aggregate. The process continues until the beginning of cytokinesis at first cleavage when a single large aggregate is found within the cleavage furrow. Most of the labelled glycoconjugates disappear by the late 2-cell stage and no evidence was found for their presence during the later preimplantation period. This technique is suitable for monitoring the kinetics of the cortical reaction in mammalian oocytes and investigating the importance of the glycoconjugates in early preimplantation period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)595-604
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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