During early development, intracellular Ca2+ mobilization is not only essential for fertilization, but has also been implicated during other meiotic and mitotic events, such as germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) and nuclear envelope breakdown (NEBD). In this study, the roles of intracellular and extracellular Ca2+ were examined during meiotic maturation and reinitiation at parthenogenetic activation and during first mitosis in a single species using the same methodologies. Cumulus-free metaphase II mouse oocytes immediately resumed anaphase upon the induction of a large, transient Ca2+ elevation. This resumption of meiosis and associated events, such as cortical granule discharge, were not sensitive to extracellular Ca2+ removal, but were blocked by intracellular Ca2+ chelators. In contrast, meiosis I was dependent on external Ca2+; in its absence, the formation and function of the first meiotic spindle was delayed, the first polar body did not form and an interphase-like state was induced. GVBD was not dependent on external Ca2+ and showed no associated Ca2+ changes. NEBD at first mitosis in fertilized eggs, on the other hand, was frequently, but not always associated with a brief Ca2+ transient and was dependent on Ca2+ mobilization. We conclude that GVBD is Ca2+ independent, but that the dependence of NEBD on Ca2+ suggests regulation by more than one pathway. As cells develop from Ca(2+)-independent germinal vesicle oocytes to internal Ca(2+)-dependent pronuclear eggs, internal Ca2+ pools increase by approximately fourfold.
Meiosis, egg activation, and nuclear envelope breakdown are differentially reliant on Ca2+, whereas germinal vesicle breakdown is Ca2+ independent in the mouse oocyte
RM Tombes, C Simerly, GG Borisy, G Schatten; Meiosis, egg activation, and nuclear envelope breakdown are differentially reliant on Ca2+, whereas germinal vesicle breakdown is Ca2+ independent in the mouse oocyte. J Cell Biol 15 May 1992; 117 (4): 799–811. doi: https://doi.org/10.1083/jcb.117.4.799
Download citation file: