Quantitative microinjection of trehalose into mouse oocytes and zygotes, and its effect on development

Ali Eroglu, Joel A. Lawitts, Mehmet Toner, Thomas L. Toth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Sugars such as trehalose are effectively used by various organisms as protective agents to undergo anhydrobiosis and cryobiosis. The objective of this study was first to establish a method for quantitative delivery of trehalose as a model sugar into oocytes, and then to evaluate its effect on development of mouse zygotes. To this end, a quantitative microinjection technique was developed using volumetric response of microdroplets suspended in dimethylpolysilaxene. To verify accuracy of this technique, both microdroplets and oocytes were microinjected with fluorophore-labeled dextran. Thereafter, injection volumes were calculated from fluorescence intensity, and volumetric responses of both microdroplets and oocytes. Comparison of calculated injection volumes revealed that this technique reflects microinjection into oocytes with pL-accuracy. The next series of experiments focused on toxicity of injection buffers (i.e., 10mM Tris and 15mM Hepes) and trehalose. Microinjection of Hepes and Tris buffer in the presence of 0.1M trehalose resulted in blastocyst rates of 86 and 72%, respectively, without a significant difference when compared to controls (86%). In subsequent experiments, Hepes was used as the injection buffer, and embryonic development of zygotes was studied as a function of intracellular trehalose concentrations. Microinjection of trehalose up to 0.15M resulted in development to blastocyst stage similar to controls (85 and 87%, respectively) while the blastocyst rate was significantly decreased (43%) in the presence of 0.20M intracellular trehalose. When transferred to foster mothers, trehalose-injected zygotes (0.1M) implanted and developed to day 16 fetuses similar to controls, healthy pups were born. The findings of this study suggest that trehalose at effective intracellular concentrations does not impair development of mouse zygotes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-134
Number of pages14
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Development
  • Egg
  • Hypertonic medium
  • Mouse oocyte
  • Quantitative microinjection
  • Toxicity
  • Trehalose

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


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