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      Mouse oocyte meiotic resumption and polar body extrusion in vitro are differentially influenced by FSH, epidermal growth factor and meiosis-activating sterol

      , , , , , , ,

      Human Reproduction

      Oxford University Press (OUP)

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          Abstract

          In this study, we compared the relative ability of FSH (100 mIU/ml), epidermal growth factor (EGF) (10 ng/ml), and follicular-fluid meiosis-activating sterol (FF-MAS, 10 micromol/l) to induce meiotic resumption and polar body I (PBI) extrusion in mouse oocytes.

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          Most cited references 26

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          Oocyte-dependent activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (ERK1/2) in cumulus cells is required for the maturation of the mouse oocyte-cumulus cell complex.

          Luteinizing hormone (LH) induces maturational processes in oocyte-cumulus cell complexes (OCC) of preovulatory follicles that include both resumption of meiosis in the oocyte and expansion (mucification) of the cumulus oophorus. Both processes require activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in granulosa cells. Here, it is reported that inhibition of MAPK activation prevented gonadotropin-stimulated resumption of meiosis as well as the rise in expression of two genes whose products are necessary for normal cumulus expansion, Has2 and Ptgs2. However, inhibition of MAPK did not block gonadotropin-induced elevation of granulosa cell cAMP, indicating that the activation of MAPK required for inducing GVB and cumulus expansion is downstream of cAMP. Moreover, activation of MAPK in cumulus cells requires one or more paracrine factors from the oocyte to induce GVB and cumulus expansion; MAPK activation alone is not sufficient to initiate these maturational processes. This study demonstrates a remarkable interaction between the oocyte and cumulus cells that is essential for gonadotropin-induced maturational processes in OCC. By enabling gonadotropin-dependent MAPK activation in granulosa cells, oocytes promote the generation of a return signal from these cells that induces the resumption of meiosis. It also appears that an oocyte-dependent pathway downstream from oocyte-enabled activation of MAPK, and distinct from that promoting the resumption of meiosis, governs cumulus expansion.
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            Oocyte maturation involves compartmentalization and opposing changes of cAMP levels in follicular somatic and germ cells: studies using selective phosphodiesterase inhibitors.

            The second messenger cAMP has been implicated in the regulation of mammalian and amphibian oocyte maturation. Although a decrease in intraoocyte levels of cAMP precedes germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD), the gonadotropin induction of ovulation and oocyte maturation is associated with major increases of cAMP in ovarian follicles. In the mammalian system, isolated oocytes undergo spontaneous maturation in vitro but this process is blocked by treatment with a phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitor, IBMX, which increases intraoocyte cAMP levels. In contrast, the same inhibitor, when added to cultured follicles for a brief time, increases follicle cAMP levels, followed by the induction of GVBD. To resolve the paradoxical actions of this PDE inhibitor on the maturation of isolated and follicle-enclosed oocytes, we hypothesized that meiotic maturation requires opposing fluctuations of cAMP levels in the somatic granulosa and germ cells. Such opposing fluctuations may result from selective expression and regulation of PDEs in the somatic and germ cell compartments of the follicle. To test this hypothesis, PDE activity was manipulated in different follicular cells using type-specific inhibitors. The impact of the ensuing changes in cAMP levels in the two compartments was monitored by the induction of GVBD. In isolated oocytes, spontaneous GVBD was blocked by two inhibitors of type 3 PDE (cGMP-inhibited: CGI-PDE), milrinone and cilostamide. In contrast, treatment with an inhibitor for type 4 PDE (cAMP-specific), rolipram, was ineffective. These findings suggest that the oocyte expresses type 3 but not type 4 PDE and that increases in intraoocyte cAMP suppress GVBD. This hypothesis was confirmed by in situ hybridization studies with PDE3 and PDE4 probes. PDE3B mRNA was concentrated in oocytes while PDE4D was mainly expressed in granulosa cells. In cultured follicles, LH treatment induced oocyte maturation but the gonadotropin action was blocked by inhibitors of type 3 but not the type 4 PDE inhibitors. Furthermore, treatment with the type 4, but not the type 3, PDE inhibitor mimics the action of LH and induces oocyte maturation, presumably by increasing cAMP levels in granulosa cells. Our findings indicate that PDE subtypes 4 and 3 are located in follicle somatic and germ cells, respectively. Preferential inhibition of PDE 3 in the oocyte may lead to a delay in oocyte maturation without affecting the cAMP-induced ovulatory process in the somatic cells. Conversely, selective suppression of granulosa cell cAMP-PDE may enhance the gonadotropin induction of ovulation and oocyte maturation. Thus, in addition to the well-recognized differential expression and regulation of adenylate cyclase in the somatic and germ cell compartments of the follicle, we suggest that selective regulation and expression of PDEs may be involved in the regulation of cAMP levels and control of oocyte maturation in the preovulatory mammalian follicle.
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              Chemical structure of sterols that activate oocyte meiosis.

              Gonadotrophins and various growth factors, but not sex steroids, can induce resumption of meiosis in vitro, but only in oocytes enclosed by cumulus-granulosa cells. Follicular purines prevent resumption of meiosis. This process can be overcome, in vitro, by a transient elevation of cyclic AMP resulting in the production of a diffusible meiosis-inducing substance secreted by the cumulus cells. A meiosis-inducing activity has been detected in gonads of different species, for example, in preovulatory follicular fluid of women and in mouse testes. We report here the isolation and characterization of meiosis-activating sterols from human follicular fluid and bull testes and the synthesis of two closely related C29 sterols. All these sterols induce a resumption of meiosis in cultured cumulus-enclosed and naked mouse oocytes indicating their nonspecificity across species and sex. This family of sterols is for the first time considered crucial to meiosis.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Human Reproduction
                Oxford University Press (OUP)
                1460-2350
                0268-1161
                December 2004
                December 01 2004
                December 2004
                December 2004
                December 01 2004
                December 2004
                : 19
                : 12
                : 2913-2918
                Article
                10.1093/humrep/deh514
                15347598
                © 2004

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