Signaling pathways regulating FSH- and amphiregulin-induced meiotic resumption and cumulus cell expansion in the pig

R Prochazka, M Blaha, L Nemcova
Reproduction 2012, 144 (5): 535-46
To define signaling pathways that drive FSH- and epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like peptide-induced cumulus expansion and oocyte meiotic resumption, in vitro cultured pig cumulus-oocyte complexes were treated with specific protein kinase inhibitors. We found that FSH-induced maturation of oocytes was blocked in germinal vesicle (GV) stage by protein kinase A (PKA), MAPK14, MAPK3/1, and EGF receptor (EGFR) tyrosine kinase inhibitors (H89, SB203580, U0126, and AG1478 respectively) whereas phosphoinositide-3-kinase/v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog (PI3K/AKT) inhibitor (LY294002) blocked maturation of oocytes in metaphase I (MI). Amphiregulin (AREG)-induced maturation of oocytes was efficiently blocked in GV by U0126, AG1478, and low concentrations of LY294002; H89, SB203580, and high concentrations of LY294002 allowed the oocytes to undergo breakdown of GV and blocked maturation in MI. Both FSH- and AREG-induced cumulus expansion was incompletely inhibited by H89 and completely inhibited by SB203580, U0126, AG1478, and LY294002. The inhibitors partially or completely inhibited expression of expansion-related genes (HAS2, PTGS2, and TNFAIP6) with two exceptions: H89 inhibited only TNFAIP6 expression and LY294002 increased expression of PTGS2. The results of this study are consistent with the idea that PKA and MAPK14 pathways are essential for FSH-induced transactivation of the EGFR, and synthesis of EGF-like peptides in cumulus cells and MAPK3/1 is involved in regulation of transcriptional and posttranscriptional events in cumulus cells required for meiotic resumption and cumulus expansion. PI3K/AKT signaling is important for regulation of cumulus expansion, AREG-induced meiotic resumption, and oocyte MI/MII transition. The present data also indicate the existence of an FSH-activated and PKA-independent pathway involved in regulation of HAS2 and PTGS2 expression in cumulus cells.

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