RNA synthesis in the oocyte and granulosa cell nuclei of growing follicles has been studied in the mouse ovary. The RNA precursor [3H]uridine was administered intraperitoneally to adult mice and the amount of label incorporated into ovarian RNA was quantitated autoradiographically using grain-counting procedures. Uridine incorporation into the nucleus is low in oocytes of small, resting follicles but increases during follicle growth and reaches a peak prior to the beginning of antrum formation. Thereafter uptake rapidly declines and is very low in the oocytes of maturing follicles. Uridine incorporation into granulosa cell nuclei, in contrast to that found in the oocyte, increases gradually during most of the period of follicle growth.
Qualitative studies of the activity of endogenous, DNA-dependent RNA polymerases have also been made in fixed oocytes isolated from follicles at different stages of growth. Polymerase activity is demonstrable in the nucleolus and nucleoplasm of oocytes from growing follicles, but is absent from maturing oocytes of large follicles.