Molecular reproduction and development

Mouse versus rat: Profound differences in meiotic regulation at the level of the isolated oocyte.

PMID 21953615


Cumulus cell-enclosed oocytes (CEO), denuded oocytes (DO), or dissected follicles were obtained 44-48 hr after priming immature mice (20-23 days old) with 5 IU or immature rats (25-27 days old) with 12.5 IU of equine chorionic gonadotropin, and exposed to a variety of culture conditions. Mouse oocytes were more effectively maintained in meiotic arrest by hypoxanthine, dbcAMP, IBMX, milrinone, and 8-Br-cGMP. Atrial natriuretic peptide, a guanylate cyclase activator, suppressed maturation in CEO from both species, but mycophenolic acid reversed IBMX-maintained meiotic arrest in mouse CEO with little activity in rat CEO. IBMX-arrested mouse, but not rat, CEO were induced to undergo germinal vesicle breakdown (GVB) by follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and amphiregulin, while human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) was ineffective in both species. Nevertheless, FSH and amphiregulin stimulated cumulus expansion in both species. FSH and hCG were both effective inducers of GVB in cultured mouse and rat follicles while amphiregulin was stimulatory only in mouse follicles. Changing the culture medium or altering macromolecular supplementation had no effect on FSH-induced maturation in rat CEO. The AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) activator, AICAR, was a potent stimulator of maturation in mouse CEO and DO, but only marginally stimulatory in rat CEO and ineffective in rat DO. The AMPK inhibitor, compound C, blocked meiotic induction more effectively in hCG-treated mouse follicles and heat-treated mouse CEO. Both agents produced contrasting results on polar body formation in cultured CEO in the two species. Active AMPK was detected in germinal vesicles of immature mouse, but not rat, oocytes prior to hCG-induced maturation in vivo; it colocalized with chromatin after GVB in rat and mouse oocytes, but did not appear at the spindle poles in rat oocytes as it did in mouse oocytes. Finally, cultured mouse and rat CEO displayed disparate maturation responses to energy substrate manipulation. These data highlight significant differences in meiotic regulation between the two species, and demonstrate a greater potential in mice for control at the level of the cumulus CEO.