• Oocytes;
  • Mouse;
  • Embryonic stem cells;
  • Butyrolactone I


ESCs are most commonly derived from embryos originating from oocytes that reached metaphase II. We describe here a novel approach where ESCs with all pluripotency parameters were established from oocytes in which metaphase I was converted, from the cell cycle perspective, directly into metaphase II-like stage without the intervening anaphase to telophase I transition. The resulting embryos initiate development and reach the blastocyst stage from which the ESC lines are then established. Thus, our approach could represent an ethically acceptable method that can exploit oocytes that are typically discarded in in vitro fertilization clinics. Moreover, our results also indicate that the meiotic cell cycle can be converted into mitosis by modulating chromosomal contacts that are typical for meiosis with subsequent licensing of chromatin for DNA replication. STEM CELLS 2011;29:517–527