Title

Down-regulation of membrana granulosa cell gap junctions is correlated with irreversible commitment to resume meiosis in golden Syrian hamster oocytes

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1989

Publication Title

European journal of cell biology

Department

Biology

Abstract

One of the currently popular hypotheses for the regulation of meiotic resumption in mammalian oocytes proposes that the preovulatory surge of luteinizing hormone causes down-regulation of follicular gap junctions, which in turn disrupts transfer of a meiotic arrester from the somatic cells into the oocyte. The present study has investigated this hypothesis by examining the integrity of membrana granulosa cell gap junctions during the period of irreversible commitment to maturation of golden Syrian hamster oocytes in vivo. Our results have revealed a significant progressive decrease in the fractional area of cell surface occupied by gap junction membrane with increasing percentage of oocytes irreversibly committed to mature (1.946% and 0.921% fractional gap junction area at 0% and 100% oocytes irreversibly committed to mature, respectively, P less than 0.05). This net loss of membrana granulosa cell gap junctions from the cell surface was accompanied by a significant decrease in density of gap junction particles, whether they were arranged in rectilinear or non-rectilinear packing patterns. Furthermore, the number of gap junction particles per unit area of surface membrane scanned also underwent a significant progressive decrease with increasing percentage of oocytes irreversibly committed to mature. These data with the hamster are consistent with the hypothesis that down-regulation of membrana granulosa cell gap junctions may be of central importance in the regulation of gonadotropic stimulation of meiotic resumption in mammalian oocytes.

ISSN

0171-9335