Molecular control of oocyte meiotic arrest and resumption

Lei Liu, Nana Kong, Guoliang Xia, Meijia Zhang
Reproduction, Fertility, and Development 2013, 25 (3): 463-71
Mammalian oocytes within Graafian follicles are arrested at prophase I by factors from surrounding follicle cells, and resume meiosis after an LH surge from the pituitary. The maintenance of meiotic arrest requires high levels of cAMP, resulting from G-protein-coupled receptor (GPR) 3 and/or GPR12 activation of adenylyl cyclase within the oocyte. Recent studies indicate that natriuretic peptide precursor C (NPPC), acting via its cognate receptor NPR2, increases cGMP levels in granulosa cells; the cGMP then diffuses into oocytes and inhibits phosphodiesterase 3A activity and cAMP hydrolysis. Meiotic resumption is induced by LH via the generation of epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like growth factors in mural granulosa cells that activate EGF receptors in cumulus cells. However, the exact mechanisms underlying the actions of these growth factors on oocyte maturation are unclear. Herein we summarise the regulatory functions of NPPC and NPR2 in maintaining oocyte meiotic arrest and discuss the possibility that LH could stimulate meiotic resumption by decreasing NPPC content and NPR2 activity.

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