Cyclooxygenase-2-derived prostaglandin E(2) directs oocyte maturation by differentially influencing multiple signaling pathways.
ABSTRACT The process of oocyte maturation, which impacts ovulation and fertilization, is complex and requires an integration of the endocrine, paracrine, juxtacrine, and autocrine signaling pathways. This process involves an intimate interaction between the oocyte and encircling cumulus cells within a follicle, a unique venue for somatic and germ cell communication. Cumulus cell expansion and resumption of meiosis with germinal vesicle breakdown are major events in oocyte maturation. Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2)-derived prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) is a known critical mediator of oocyte maturation, but the diverse function of this lipid mediator in oocyte maturation, ovulation, and fertilization has not been fully appreciated. We show here that gonadotropins in coordination with PGE(2) signaling via its cell surface G-protein-coupled EP2 and EP4 receptor subtypes direct cumulus cell expansion and survival and oocyte meiotic maturation by differentially impacting cAMP-dependent protein kinase, MAPK, NF-kappaB, and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt pathways. This study is unique in the sense that it provides evidence for new site- and event-specific involvement of these signaling pathways under the influence of COX-2-derived PGE(2) during the critical stages of this somatic-germ cell interaction, an absolute requirement for oocyte maturation.
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of omega-3 α-linolenic acid (ALA) added to the IVM medium on embryo development of prepubertal sheep oocytes. Experiment 1 investigated the effect of ALA at different concentrations (0 [control], 50, 100, and 200 μM) and DMSO (100 μM) in IVM media on cumulus cell expansion and oocyte nuclear maturation and on synthesis of prostaglandins (PGE2 and PGF2α). Experiment 2 investigated the effects of ALA at different concentrations in the IVM medium on oocyte fertilization, cleavage, and developmental potential to blastocyst stage and changes in estradiol and progesterone concentrations in the spent IVM media. IVM oocytes were fertilized with frozen-thawed spermatozoa capacitated in a serum-free sperm medium. Presumptive zygotes were cultured 8 days in synthetic oviductal fluid (SOF) medium without serum. Blastocyst quality was assessed by counting total cell number and the number of apoptotic cells using Hoechst and Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) staining. Nuclear maturation of oocytes and the number of fully expanded cumulus cells were reduced after treatment with 200 μM of ALA compared with other groups (P ≤ 0.05). Supplementation with ALA increased both PGE2 and PGF2α concentrations in the spent media (P ≤ 0.05). No differences were observed in blastocyst development among control (12.2%) and 50, 100, and 200 μM ALA groups (6.9%, 11.5% and 14.0%, respectively). However, the total cell number (46.50 ± 5.85, 67.94 ± 6.71, 45.20 ± 6.37, and 59.80 ± 5.51, respectively; P ≤ 0.05) and apoptotic cell number (6.45 ± 0.89, 2.48 ± 0.81, 4.02 ± 1.15, and 3.67 ± 1.15, respectively; P ≤ 0.05) were significantly improved. After IVM, estradiol concentration was lower and progesterone concentration was higher in ALA groups compared with the control group (P ≤ 0.05). In conclusion, these results revealed that ALA affects prepubertal sheep embryo quality associated with alteration of releasing reproductive hormones.Theriogenology 06/2014; · 1.85 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Identification of criteria for embryo quality is required to improve the clinical outcome of in vitro fertilization. The aim of this study was to determine the gene expression profile of cumulus cells (CC) surrounding the oocyte as biomarkers for embryonic developmental potential. CCs from single oocytes were analysed using DNA microarrays. Gene expression profiles of CC surrounding the oocyte associated with good embryonic quality were analyzed. We observed that CCs issued from oocytes that developed into embryos with a good morphology had significantly different gene expression profile from those with bad morphology. These results were confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR. The gene expression profiling of human CC correlates with embryo potential. Our findings suggest anon-invasive approach, offering a new potential strategy for competent embryo selection.Reproductive sciences (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) 06/2014; · 2.18 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The sex differentiation mechanisms in zebrafish (Danio rerio) remains elusive, partly due to the absence of sex chromosomes but also the process appears to depend on the synchrony of multiple genes and possibly environmental factors. Zebrafish gonadal development is initiated through the development of immature oocytes. Depending on multiple signaling cues, in about half of the individuals, the juvenile ovaries degenerate or undergo apoptosis to initiate testes development while the other half maintains the oogenic pathway. We have previously shown that activation of NFkappaB and prostaglandin synthase 2 (ptgs2) results in female biased sex ratios. Prostaglandin synthase and prostaglandins are involved in multiple physiological functions including cell survival and apoptosis. In the present study we show that inhibition of ptgs2 by meloxicam result in male biased sex ratios. On further evaluation, we observed that exposure with the prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) analogue BW-245C induced SRY-box containing gene 9a (sox9a) and resulted in male biased sex ratios. On the other hand, prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) treatment resulted in female biased sex ratios and involved activation of NFkappaB and the beta-catenin pathway as well as inhibition of sox9. Exposure to the beta-catenin inhibitor, PNU-74654, resulted in up-regulation of ptgds and male biased sex ratios which further confirmed the involvement of beta-catenin in the female differentiation pathway. In this study we show that PGD2 and PGE2 can program the gonads to either the testis or ovary differentiation pathways, indicating that prostaglandins are involved in the regulation of zebrafish gonadal differentiation.Biology of Reproduction 06/2014; · 3.45 Impact Factor