Cortical granule reaction
Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
The resumption of meiosis results in synthesis of tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) in the rat and mouse oocytes (Haurte et al., Cell 43:551-558, 1985). The present study demonstrates that freshly ovulated rat oocytes released their tPA into the surrounding medium upon in vitro activation by sperm penetration or treatment with a calcium ionophore. The presence of a neutralizing monoclonal anti-tPA antibody during in vitro activation by the calcium ionophore inhibited the activation-induced zona hardening and also preserved the ability of the oocyte to be penetrated by sperm subsequent to activation. Rat oocytes undergo zona hardening during in vitro maturation in the absence of serum, presumably as a result of spontaneous cortical granule release, based on findings in mice and hamsters. In the present study, the anti-tPA antibody prevented the zona hardening and enhanced partition by spermatozoa of rat oocytes that were matured in vitro without serum. Collectively, the observations reported here suggest a possible role of tPA released during the cortical granule reaction in the zona reaction, which contributes to the block to polyspermy.
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