Int. J. Dev. Biol. 38: 731 - 736 (1994)
© UPV/EHU Press

A reversible block at the G1/S border during cell cycle progression of mouse embryos.

N Ouhibi, J Fulka, J Kanka and R M Moor

Babraham Institute, Development and Differentiation Laboratory, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT Late 2-cell stage mouse embryos were cultured in M-199 plus 100 micrograms/ml Na pyruvate 25 micrograms/ml gentamycin and 0.3% BSA with or without mimosine (200 microM, 150 microM, 100 microM and 50 microM) for a short (4-5 h) or long (18-20 h) culture period; after drug removal subsequent embryo development was evaluated. Late 2-cell stage mouse embryos treated with mimosine were blocked at the 4-cell stage. Autoradiographic studies show that mimosine inhibits cell cycle progression in mouse embryos at the G1/S boundary. The onset of DNA replication occurs within 15 min of releasing the embryos from mimosine block. Embryos pretreated with mimosine at 200 microM and 150 microM for 4-5 h progress after 3-4 days in culture to hatched blastocyst (71% and 79%, respectively) compared with control (90%). However a longer pretreatment (18-20 h) with mimosine at 200 microM was significantly detrimental to the subsequent developmental progression to hatched blastocyst (2% vs 81%, p < or = 0.05); the proportion of degenerated embryos was significantly increased with mimosine at 200 microM and 150 microM compared with control (57% and 28% vs 4%, p < or = 0.05) after 3-4 days in culture. Preliminary studies with mimosine treatment at 100 microM and 50 microM for 18-20 h show that 70% and 37% of the embryos were blocked at 4-cell stage, respectively. These results indicate that mimosine inhibits cell cycle progress in mouse embryos at the G1/S border and thus induces a reversible arrest in a dose- and time-dependent manner.