In most animal species female germ cells are the source of mitochondrial genome for the whole body of individuals. As a source of mitochondrial DNA for future generations the mitochondria in the female germ line undergo dynamic quantitative and qualitative changes. In addition to maintaining the intact template of mitochondrial genome from one generation to another, mitochondrial role in oocytes is much more complex and pleiotropic. The quality of mitochondria determines the ability of meiotic divisions, fertilization ability, and activation after fertilization or sustaining development of a new embryo. The presence of normal number of functional mitochondria is also crucial for proper implantation and pregnancy maintaining. This article addresses issues of mitochondrial role and function in mammalian oocyte and presents new approaches in studies of mitochondrial function in female germ cells.
Keywords: Aging; Fertility; Mitochondria; ROS; oocyt; oocyte; płodność; starzenie.