Amino Acid Transport Mechanisms in Mouse Oocytes During Growth and Meiotic Maturation

Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Biology of Reproduction (Impact Factor: 3.32). 08/2009; 81(6):1041-54. DOI: 10.1095/biolreprod.109.079046
Source: PubMed


Amino acids are transported into cells by a number of different transport systems, each with their own specific range of substrates. The amino acid transport systems active in preimplantation embryos and the amino acids required by embryos for optimal development have been extensively investigated. Much less is known about amino acid transport systems active in growing and meiotically maturing oocytes or about developmental changes in their activity. As a first step in determining the array of amino acid transporters active in oocytes, the transport characteristics of nine amino acids were measured in small, medium, and large growing oocytes; in fully grown germinal vesicle (GV)-stage oocytes; in metaphase I oocytes; and in metaphase II eggs. Whether each of 11 classically defined amino acid transport systems was likely active in oocytes at each stage was determined using assays based on measuring the transport of radiolabeled amino acids into oocytes and the effect of a limited set of potential competitive inhibitors. Six amino acid transport systems were found to be active during oocyte growth or maturation. L, b(0,+), and ASC/asc were active throughout oocyte growth and maturation, increasing during growth. In contrast, GLY, beta, and x(c)(-) had little or no activity during growth but became activated during meiotic maturation. Surprisingly, the presence of follicular cells surrounding medium growing oocytes or cumulus cells surrounding GV oocytes did not confer amino acid transport by additional transport systems not present in the oocyte. In some cases, however, follicular cells coupled to the oocyte enhanced uptake of amino acids by the same systems present in the oocyte.

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    • "Exogenous cysteine is very unstable and readily oxidises to cystine, making it unavailable to the oocyte within a matter of hours (Ishii and Bannai 1985). Exogenous cystine relies on the transport system, which is relatively inactive in the maturing oocyte until the MII stage and is likely to be of little benefit to the oocyte during IVM (Pelland et al. 2009). IVM studies in a range of non-primate mammalian species have used cysteamine (CYS) supplementation to increase the availability of cysteine (Grupen et al. 1995; de Matos et al. 2003; Gasparrini et al. 2003; Rodríguez-González et al. 2003; Luciano et al. 2005). "
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    ABSTRACT: Fertilisation and development of IVM non-human primate oocytes is limited compared with that of in vivo-matured (IVO) oocytes. The present study describes the IVM of macaque oocytes with reference to oocyte glutathione (GSH). Timing of maturation, comparison of IVM media and cysteamine (CYS) supplementation as a modulator of GSH were investigated. A significantly greater proportion of oocytes reached MII after 30 h compared with 24 h of IVM. Following insemination, IVM oocytes had a significantly lower incidence of normal fertilisation (i.e. 2PN = two pronuclei and at least one polar body) and a higher rate of abnormal fertilisation (1PN = one pronucleus and at least one polar body) compared with IVO oocytes. Immunofluorescence of 1PN zygotes identified incomplete sperm head decondensation and failure of male pronucleus formation as the principal cause of abnormal fertilisation in IVM oocytes. The IVO oocytes had significantly higher GSH content than IVM oocytes. Cumulus-denuded oocytes had significantly lower GSH following IVM compared with immature oocytes at collection. Cysteamine supplementation of the IVM medium significantly increased the GSH level of cumulus-intact oocytes and reduced the incidence of 1PN formation, but did not improve GSH levels of the denuded oocyte. Suboptimal GSH levels in macaque IVM oocytes may be related to reduced fertilisation outcomes.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2010 · Reproduction Fertility and Development
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    • "Ae2 loss from the membrane following meiotic maturation was not reflecting a general property of transmembrane proteins in mouse oocytes, since hD1-GFP exogenously expressed in oocytes remained localized to the membrane as the oocyte progressed from GV to MII. Similarly, the activities of several other membrane-localized transporters persist throughout meiotic maturation in mouse oocytes, including the GLYT1 glycine transporter and the TAUT β-amino acid transporter [48], [49], both of which share with Ae2 dependence on Cl−. "
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    ABSTRACT: Germinal Vesicle (GV) stage mouse oocytes in first meiotic prophase exhibit highly active HCO3−/Cl− exchange—a class of transport nearly ubiquitously involved in regulation of intracellular pH and cell volume. During meiosis, however, oocyte HCO3−/Cl− exchange becomes inactivated during first metaphase (MI), remains inactive in second metaphase (MII), and is reactivated only after egg activation. Previous work using pharmacological manipulations had indicated that activity of the MEK/MAPK signaling pathway was negatively correlated with HCO3−/Cl− exchange activity during meiosis. However, the mechanism by which the exchanger is inactivated during meiotic progression had not been determined, nor had the role of MEK/MAPK been directly established.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2009 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Our objectives were to study how cysteamine, cystine, and cumulus cells (CCs), as well as oocytes interact to increase oocyte intracellular glutathione (GSH) and thereby to establish an efficient in vitro maturation system for cumulus-denuded oocytes (DOs). Using M16 that contained no thiol as maturation medium, we showed that when supplemented alone, neither cystine nor cysteamine promoted GSH synthesis of mouse DOs, but they did when used together. Although goat CCs required either cysteamine or cystine to promote GSH synthesis, mouse CCs required both. In the presence of cystine, goat CCs produced cysteine but mouse CCs did not. Cysteamine reduced cystine to cysteine in cell-free M16. When TCM-199 that contained 83 microM cystine was used as maturation medium, supplementation with cysteamine alone had no effect, but supplementation with 100 microM cysteamine and 200 microM cystine increased blastulation of DOs matured with CC coculture to a level as high as achieved in cumulus-surrounded oocytes (COCs). Similar numbers of young were produced after two-cell embryos from mouse COCs or CC-cocultured DOs matured with optimal thiol supplementation were transferred to pseudopregnant recipients. It is concluded that 1) mouse CCs can use neither cysteamine nor cystine to promote GSH synthesis, but goat CCs can use either one; 2) goat CCs promote mouse oocyte GSH synthesis by reducing cystine to cysteine, but how they use cysteamine requires further investigation; and 3) mouse DOs can use neither cystine nor cysteamine for GSH synthesis, but they restore developmental capacity completely when matured in the presence of optimum supplementation of cysteamine, cystine, and CCs.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2010 · Biology of Reproduction
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