MITOCHONDRIA IN MAMMALIAN OOCYTES AND EARLY EMBRYOS. A REVIEW ON MORPHOLOGICAL AND FUNCTIONAL STUDIES

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Manuel Belli, Sevastiani Antonouli, Stefania Annarita Nottola

Mitochondria are the most abundant organelles in mammalian oocytes and early embryos. The central role of mitochondria in the establishment of developmental competence of oocytes and early embryos come out from basic research in experimental models and clinical studies, including those from Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ARTs) such as in vitro fertilization and embryo culture. We here review major concerns about mitochondrial bioenergetic function and morphology as well as their involvement in oocyte and early embryo development.

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