Structural and functional characteristics of the centrosome in gametogenesis and early embryogenesis of animals

Int Rev Cytol. 1999;185:107-56. doi: 10.1016/s0074-7696(08)60150-3.


We present a description of the wide spectrum of centrosome behavior during gametogenesis, early development, and cell differentiation. During meiosis and terminal differentiation of gametes there occurs a process of centrosome maturation which includes alterations in characteristics such as the number of centriolar cylinders and their structure if the basal body is formed and ability to function as MTOC, reduplicate, split, and serve as a polar organizer. Such centrosome properties require modifications of the molecular composition. Maturation of the centrosome in gametes may be compared to transformation of centrosome characteristics during terminal differentiation of other cells. After fertilization different properties of maternal and paternal centrosomes are supposed to combine, adding to each other in the fused (hybrid) centrosome of a zygote. Restoration of centrosome features typical in diploid somatic cells takes place in cells of a developing embryo in the course of early cell cycles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Centrioles / physiology
  • Centrosome / physiology*
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gametogenesis / physiology*
  • Male
  • Meiosis / physiology
  • Mitosis / physiology
  • Oogenesis / physiology
  • Spermatogenesis / physiology