Chinese Acad Sci, State Key Lab Freshwater Ecol & Biotechnol, Inst Hydrobiol, Wuhan 430072, Hubei, Peoples R China
The aim of this study was to determine the lowest concentration of nocodazole and colchicine to arrest blastomere division during the cleavage stage of loach embryos and to assess the reversibility and toxicity of the treatments in the treated embryos. Eight-cell loach embryos were incubated for 4, 8, 12, or 16 h in 1/10x Holtfreter supplemented with either nocodazole, an inhibitor of tubulin polymerization, or colchicine, an inhibitor of tubulin assembly. Complete arrest of cell cycle was observed, at a colchicine concentration of 0.996 mM and at a nocodazole concentration of 0.275 muM, respectively (the lowest effective concentration). No major morphological alteration in chromatin was observed. Reversibility and toxicity of both agents were dose and exposure period dependent. For both agents, prolonging cleavage arrest for more than 4 h (at the effective concentrations) is detrimental to development of embryos. Nocodazole treatment was less cytotoxic, whereas the concentrations of colchicine which induce cleavage arrest were detrimental to development beyond the blastula stage. Toxic effects beyond the blastula stage could be minimized for both agents by reducing the period of treatment and concentration.