Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences
The meiotic cell cycle in mouse oocytes is arrested in prophase, and then restarted when luteinizing hormone (LH) acts on the surrounding granulosa cells. The granulosa cells keep meiosis arrested by providing a source of cGMP that diffuses into the oocyte through gap junctions, and LH restarts the cell cycle by closing the junctions and by decreasing granulosa cell cGMP, thus lowering oocyte cGMP. Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) activation is an essential step in triggering LH-induced meiotic resumption, but its relationship to the cGMP decrease in the follicle is incompletely understood, and its possible function in causing gap junction closure has not been investigated. Here we use EGFR agonists (epiregulin and amphiregulin), and an EGFR kinase inhibitor (AG1478) to study the function of the EGFR in the signaling pathways leading to the release of oocytes from prophase arrest. Our results indicate that the EGFR kinase contributes to LH-induced meiotic resumption in two different ways. First, it is required for gap junction closure. Second, it is required for an essential component of the decrease in follicle cGMP. Our data show that the EGFR kinase-dependent component of the cGMP decrease is required for LH-induced meiotic resumption, but they also indicate that an as yet unidentified pathway accounts for a large part of the cGMP decrease.
Norris, Rachael P.; Freudzon, Marina; Nikolaev, Viacheslav O.; and Jaffe, Laurinda A., "EGF Receptor Kinase Activity Is Required For Gap Junction Closure And For Part Of The Decrease In Ovarian Follicle cGMP In Response To Luteinizing Hormone" (2010). Articles - Research. Paper 42.