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EMBRYOLOGY: WEEK 1 OF LIFE

Semester 1
A. Mwakikunga

OBJECTIVES

Distinguish spermatogenesis from oogenesis


Explain the role of sertoli cells in spermatogenesis
Sketch and explain the structure as seen in cross-section, of a seminiferous
tubule
Distinguish and compare the cell types found in the wall of the seminiferous
tubule
Briefly discribe the phases of fertilization
List the known acrosomal enzymes of mammalian sperm
Describe the zona pellucida glycoproteins involved in sperm binding
Explain briefly the role of the following: fertilin, integrin, and CRISP,
phospholipase C in week one of life
Distinguish cleavage from somatic mitosis
Describe how the blastocyst gets implanted
Explain the role of cytotrophoblasts and syncytiotrophoblasts in the early
formation of the placenta

GAMETOGENESIS

Oogenesis - formation of eggs


Spermatogenesis - formation of sperm

SPERMATOGENESIS

Occurs in seminiferous tubules


Spermatogonia - primordial germ cells
Spermatogenesis has 3 major stages:
Mitotic proliferation
Meiosis
Packaging

MITOTIC PROLIFERATION

Each spermatogonium duplicates by


mitosis to form type A & type B daughter
spermatogonia
Type A - self renewal & reserve stem cell
Type B - pushed toward lumen where it
becomes primary spermatocyte destined to
produce 4 sperm

MEIOSIS: SPERMATOCYTES TO
SPERMATIDS

Primary spermatocyte undergoes meiosis I


forming 2 haploid cells called secondary
spermatocytes
Secondary spermatocytes continue into
meiosis II & produce daughter cells called
spermatids

SPERMATOGENESIS

PACKAGING (SPERMIOGENESIS):
SPERMATIDS TO SPERM

Spermiogenesis - differentiation of newly formed spermatid


into spermatozoon
Shedding of superfluous cytoplasmic baggage with the
help of nurse (Sertoli) cells
Secrete SGF, androgen binding proteins, glial cell
derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF)
Resulting sperm has

Head - with nucleus - protamines, acrosome with hydrolytic enzymes acid phosphatase, phospholipase, collagenase

Midpieace - with mitochondria


Tail - flagellum for locomotion
No dynein - infertility - Kartagener triad - bronchial
infections heart on right side

SPERMIOGENESIS

SPERM

Production - puberty to death


48days from meiosis I to a mature sperm;
64 days - spermatogonium to maturity
Each ejaculation - 300 million sperm
Y sperm - less resistant to acidic condition
X sperm - more resistant to acidic condition

OOGENESIS

Begins before birth - Primordial germ cells


in ovary differentiate into oogonia
Differentiation into oogonia begins shortly
after primordial germ cells arrive in ovary
Some of oogonia differentiate into primary
oocytes & enter into prophase I

OOGENESIS CONTD

By about 5 months of gestation, ovaries


contain about 6 -7 million oogonia
Production of oogonia stops & never
resumes, but cell death begins - atresia
By 7th month all surviving primary oocytes
have entered 1st meiotic division
Oogenesis is arrested in prophase I
(diplotene stage) until just be4 ovulation

OOGENESIS CONTD

At birth - about 700,000 - 2 million primary


oocytes
At puberty - about 400,000
Only < 500 will be ovulated
Secondary oocyte is arrested at metaphase
II until penetration of sperm to become
functional ovum

OOGENESIS

FERTILIZATION

Process by which male & female gametes


fuse
Occurs in ampullary region of uterine tube
Sperm are not able to fertilize immediately
upon arrival in female genital
They undergo 2 processes to acquire this
ability
Capacitation
Acrosome reaction

CAPACITATION

Period of sperm conditioning in female


reproductive tract - membranes more unstable

Glycoprotein coat & seminal plasma proteins are removed


from plasma membrane on acrosomal region
Cholesterols removed from membrane
Acrosomal stabilizing factor removed
Ion & pH change
Sperm surface proteins phosphorylated

Lasts about 7 hrs


Only capacitated sperm can pass corona radiata &
undergo acrosome reaction

ACROSOME REACTION

Occurs after binding to zona pellucida


Induced by zona proteins - ZP1, ZP2, ZP3
Culminates in the release of enzymes:
acrosin
trypsin-like substances
hyaluronidase
acid phosphatase
collagenase

PHASES OF FERTILIZATION

Phase 1 - penetration of corona radiata


Phase 2 - penetration of zona pellucida
Phase 3 - fusion of the oocyte & sperm cell
membranes

PHASE 1 - PENETRATION OF
CORONA RADIATA

200 - 300 million sperm deposited


300 - 500 reach site of fertilization
One fertilizes the egg
Others help the fertilizing sperm in
penetrating barriers - using hyaluronidase
Capacited sperm pass freely through
corona cells

PHASE 2 - PENETRATION OF
ZONA PELLUCIDA

Zona pellucida is made of glycoproteins &


glycosaminoglycans
Facilitates sperm binding
Induces acrosome reaction
Release of acrosin allows sperm penetrate
zona pellucida
Permeability of zona pellucida changes
when head of sperm touches oocyte
surface

PHASE 2 - PENETRATION OF
ZONA PELLUCIDA CONTD

This contact results in cortical granules lining


plasma membrane of oocyte to release enzymes

Functions of enzymes from cortical granule

alter properties of zona pellucida


prevent sperm penetration
inactivate species-specific receptor sites for
sperm on zona surface - ZP3
Hyaline - hardening plasma membrane
Hydrating perivitelline space - acid
mucopolysaccharides

PHASE 3 - FUSION OF OOCYTE &


SPERM CELL MEMBRANES

First, sperm adhere to oocyte


Then, cell membranes fuse

fertilin, integrin, CRISP (cys-rich secretory


protein) - promote membrane fusion

Both head & tail of sperm enter cytoplasm


of oocyte while cell membrane is left behind
on oocyte surface
Male & female pronuclei unite

EGG RESPONSE SOON AFTER


ENTRY OF SPERM

Cortical & zona reaction

Zona pellucida alters its structure


prevent sperm binding
prevent sperm penetration & polyspermy

Fast block - change of membrane electrical potential


Slow block - cortical or zonal reaction - acid
mucopolysaccharides, peroxidase crosslinks, hyaline,
ZP3 modification

Important for events in early embryogenesis

EGG RESPONSE SOON AFTER


ENTRY OF SPERM

Resumption of second meiotic division

Finishes its second meiotic division


Cytostatic factor (CSF) arrests cell at this stage
Fertilization leads to Ca2+ influx
Ca2+ activates calmodulin
Calmodulin activates CSF degrading enzymes

Metabolic activation of the egg

ACTIVATION OF EGG
METABOLISM FOR DEVELOPENT

Phospholipase C (PLC) cleaves membrane


lipid into 2 parts: DAG & IP3 (Di-acetylGlycerol & Inositol triphosphate)

Oxygen consumption increases


DNA synthesis/replication begins
Protein synthesis begins
Rearrangement of cytoplasm - new interactions,
new neighbours will activate other molecules

CONSEQUENCES OF
FERTILIZATION

Completion of meiotic division II of ovum


Activation of egg for development
Restoration of diploid number of
chromosomes
Determination of sex
Initiation of cleavage

CLEAVAGE

Zygote - undergoes a series of rapid


mitotic divisions - into a number of smaller
cells - blastomeres forming a blastula

Rotational cleavage
Timing of cellularization - ratio of nuclei (DNA)
to cytoplasm

Morula - 3 days after fertilization enters the


uterus

BLASTOCYST FORMATION

Later morula has a cavity - blastocele


Therefore, embryo is now called blastocyst
with inner & outer cell masses
Inner cell mass gives rise to embryo proper
Outer cell mass gives rise to trophoblast
which later contributes to placenta
Cells of inner mass - now called
embryoblast are at one pole

BLASTOCYST FORMATION CONTD

BLASTOCYST FORMATION CONTD

Trophoblast differentiates into:

Cytotrophoblasts - small non-multinucleated


cells; form villi that branch into which
mesodermal cells aline to form capillaries that
go into lacuna carrying fetal blood

Syncytiotrophoblast - multinucleated; erode


endometrium forming lacuna into which
maternal blood flows

BLASTOCYST FORMATION CONTD

6th day - syncytiotrophoblast penetrates uterine


mucosa - contributing to embryonic part of
placenta & later to extraembryonic structures
By end of 1st week of development - human zygote
has:
passed thru morula & blastocyst stages
begun implantation in uterine mucosa

IMPLANTATION

Blastocyst is embedded in endometrium


Trophoblast differentiates into

Cytotrophoblast
Syncytiotrophoblast - lacunae & secret human
chorionic gonadotropin to maintain corpus
luteum

Implantation completed by end of wk2


Utero-placental circulation is established