Animal Reproduction (AR)
Animal Reproduction (AR)
Conference Paper

Oocyte mitochondria: role on fertility and disease transmission

Marcos R. Chiaratti, Bruna M. Garcia, Karen F. Carvalho, Carolina H. Macabelli, Fernanda Karina da Silva Ribeiro, Amanda F. Zangirolamo, Fabiana D. Sarapião, Marcelo M. Seneda, Flávio V. Meirelles, Francisco E. G. Guimarães, Thiago S. Machado

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Oocyte mitochondria are increased in number, smaller, and rounder in appearance than mitochondria in somatic cells. Moreover, mitochondrial numbers and activity are narrowly tied with oocyte quality because of the key role of mitochondria to oocyte maturation. During oocyte maturation, mitochondria display great mobility and cluster at specific sites to meet the high energy demand. Conversely, oocyte mitochondria are not required during early oogenesis as coupling with granulosa cells is sufficient to support gamete’s needs. In part, this might be explained by the importance of protecting mitochondria from oxidative damage that result in mutations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Considering mitochondria are transmitted exclusively by the mother, oocytes with mtDNA mutations may lead to diseases in offspring. Thus, to counterbalance mutation expansion, the oocyte has developed specific mechanisms to filter out deleterious mtDNA molecules. Herein, we discuss the role of mitochondria on oocyte developmental potential and recent evidence supporting a purifying filter against deleterious mtDNA mutations in oocytes.


dynamics, fertility, mitochondria, mtDNA, oocyte.


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