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      Oocyte maturation and quality: role of cyclic nucleotides

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          EGF-like growth factors as mediators of LH action in the ovulatory follicle.

          Before ovulation in mammals, a cascade of events resembling an inflammatory and/or tissue remodeling process is triggered by luteinizing hormone (LH) in the ovarian follicle. Many LH effects, however, are thought to be indirect because of the restricted expression of its receptor. Here, we demonstrate that LH stimulation induces the transient and sequential expression of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) family members amphiregulin, epiregulin, and beta-cellulin. Incubation of follicles with these growth factors recapitulates the morphological and biochemical events triggered by LH, including cumulus expansion and oocyte maturation. Thus, these EGF-related growth factors are paracrine mediators that propagate the LH signal throughout the follicle.
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            Granulosa cell ligand NPPC and its receptor NPR2 maintain meiotic arrest in mouse oocytes.

            Granulosa cells of mammalian Graafian follicles maintain oocytes in meiotic arrest, which prevents their precocious maturation. We show that mouse mural granulosa cells, which line the follicle wall, express natriuretic peptide precursor type C (Nppc) messenger RNA (mRNA), whereas cumulus cells surrounding oocytes express mRNA of the NPPC receptor NPR2, a guanylyl cyclase. NPPC increased cGMP levels in cumulus cells and oocytes and inhibited meiotic resumption in vitro. Meiotic arrest was not sustained in most Graafian follicles of Nppc or Npr2 mutant mice, and meiosis resumed precociously. Oocyte-derived paracrine factors promoted cumulus cell expression of Npr2 mRNA. Therefore, the granulosa cell ligand NPPC and its receptor NPR2 in cumulus cells prevent precocious meiotic maturation, which is critical for maturation and ovulation synchrony and for normal female fertility.
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              MAPK3/1 (ERK1/2) in ovarian granulosa cells are essential for female fertility.

              A surge of luteinizing hormone (LH) from the pituitary gland triggers ovulation, oocyte maturation, and luteinization for successful reproduction in mammals. Because the signaling molecules RAS and ERK1/2 (extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2) are activated by an LH surge in granulosa cells of preovulatory follicles, we disrupted Erk1/2 in mouse granulosa cells and provide in vivo evidence that these kinases are necessary for LH-induced oocyte resumption of meiosis, ovulation, and luteinization. In addition, biochemical analyses and selected disruption of the Cebpb gene in granulosa cells demonstrate that C/EBPbeta (CCAAT/Enhancer-binding protein-beta) is a critical downstream mediator of ERK1/2 activation. Thus, ERK1/2 and C/EBPbeta constitute an in vivo LH-regulated signaling pathway that controls ovulation- and luteinization-related events.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Reproduction
                BioScientifica
                1470-1626
                1741-7899
                September 21 2016
                November 15 2016
                : 152
                : 5
                : R143-R157
                Article
                10.1530/REP-15-0606
                27422885
                409cc3dd-8d4c-41f1-843d-ef4b2ddc0258
                © 2016
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