Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Hypoxanthine and adcnosine are present in preparations of mouse ovarian follicular fluid, and these purines maintain mouse oocytes in meiotic arrest in vitro (Eppig et al.: Biology of Reproduction 33:1041-1049, 1985). The first hypothesis tested in this study is that purines which maintain meiotic arrest act by maintaining meiosis-arresting levels of cyclic adenosine monophosphatc (cAMP) in the oocyte. Oocyte-cumulus cell complexes were incubated in control medium (no added purines), or medium containing 0.75 mM adenosine, 4 mM hypoxanthine, or both for 3 hr and the percentage of the oocytes that underwent germinal vesicle breakdown (GVB) and the cAMP content of the intact complexes and the oocytes were determined. Adenosine alone had little inhibitory effect on GVB at this time point but sustained higher levels of cAMP in the oocytes. Hypoxanthine maintained 80% of cumulus cell-enclosed oocytes in meiotic arrest and also sustained higher cAMP levels in the oocytes. The additon of adenosine to hypoxanthine-containing medium increased the percentage of oocytes maintained in meiotic arrest, and increased the amount of cAMP in the oocytes above that maintained by either hypoxanthine or adenosine alone. Neither hypoxanthine, adenosine, nor hypoxanthine plus adenosine altered the cAMP content of intact complexes when assayed after 3 hr culture. Microinjection of an inhibitor of the catalytic subunit of cAMP-dcpendent protein kinase induced GVB in denuded oocytes cultured in medium containing hypoxanthine. This purne, therefore, maintained meiotic arrest by sustaining elevated cAMP levels within the oocytes.The second hypothesis tested in this study is that purines maintain meiosis-arresting levels of cAMP, at least in part, by inhibiting cAMP phosphodiestcrase activity. In descending order of potency, 3-isobutyl-l-methylxanthine (IBMX), guanosine, hypoxanthine, adenosine, and xanthosine inhibited cAMP phosphodiesterase in oocyte lysates. Moreover, like the potent phosphodiesterase inhibitor IBMX, hypoxanthine augmented the cAMP meiotic arrest and cAMP accumulation mediated by follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) in intact complexes. Therefore, inhibition of oocyte phosphodiesterase appears to be one mechanism by which the purines could maintain meiosis-arresting levels of cAMP.
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