Three-dimensional analysis of nuclear heterochromatin distribution during early development in the rabbit

Amélie Bonnet-Garnier, Kiên Kiêu, Tiphaine Aguirre-Lavin, Krisztina Tar, Pierre Flores, Zichuan Liu, Nathalie Peynot, Martine Chebrout, András Dinnyés, Véronique Duranthon, Nathalie Beaujean

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Changes to the spatial organization of specific chromatin domains such as constitutive heterochromatin have been studied extensively in somatic cells. During early embryonic development, drastic epigenetic reprogramming of both the maternal and paternal genomes, followed by chromatin remodeling at the time of embryonic genome activation (EGA), have been observed in the mouse. Very few studies have been performed in other mammalian species (human, bovine, or rabbit) and the data are far from complete. During this work, we studied the three-dimensional organization of pericentromeric regions during the preimplantation period in the rabbit using specific techniques (3D-FISH) and tools (semi-automated image analysis). We observed that the pericentromeric regions (identified with specific probes for Rsat I and Rsat II genomic sequences) changed their shapes (from pearl necklaces to clusters), their nuclear localizations (from central to peripheral), as from the 4-cell stage. This reorganization goes along with histone modification changes and reduced amount of interactions with nucleolar precursor body surface. Altogether, our results suggest that the 4-cell stage may be a crucial window for events necessary before major EGA, which occurs during the 8-cell stage in the rabbit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-403
Number of pages17
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2018



  • 3D-FISH
  • Centromeres
  • Embryos
  • Epigenetic modifications
  • Satellite sequences

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

Cite this

Bonnet-Garnier, A., Kiêu, K., Aguirre-Lavin, T., Tar, K., Flores, P., Liu, Z., Peynot, N., Chebrout, M., Dinnyés, A., Duranthon, V., & Beaujean, N. (2018). Three-dimensional analysis of nuclear heterochromatin distribution during early development in the rabbit. Chromosoma, 127(3), 387-403.