Biology of reproduction

Suppression of chemically induced and spontaneous mouse oocyte activation by AMP-activated protein kinase.

PMID 23390161


Oocyte activation is an important process triggered by fertilization that initiates embryonic development. However, parthenogenetic activation can occur either spontaneously or with chemical treatments. The LT/Sv mouse strain is genetically predisposed to spontaneous activation. LT oocytes have a cell cycle defect and are ovulated at the metaphase I stage instead of metaphase II. A thorough understanding of the female meiosis defects in this strain remains elusive. We have reported that AMP-activated protein kinase (PRKA) has an important role in stimulating meiotic resumption and promoting completion of meiosis I while suppressing premature parthenogenetic activation. Here we show that early activation of PRKA during the oocyte maturation period blocked chemically induced activation in B6SJL oocytes and spontaneous activation in LT/SvEiJ oocytes. This inhibitory effect was associated with high levels of MAPK1/3 activity. Furthermore, stimulation of PRKA partially rescued the meiotic defects of LT/Sv mouse oocytes in concert with correction of abnormal spindle pole localization of PRKA and loss of prolonged spindle assembly checkpoint activity. Altogether, these results confirm a role for PRKA in helping sustain the MII arrest in mature oocytes and suggest that dysfunctional PRKA contributes to meiotic defects in LT/SvEiJ oocytes.