Effect of microtubule reactive drugs on steroid- and centrifugation-induced germinal vesicle migration during goldfish oocyte meiosis


During the process of progestogen-induced meiotic maturation in the goldfish oocyte, the oocyte nucleus (germinal vesicle, GV) migrates to the sperm entry site or micropyle at the animal pole. Following GV migration (GVM) to the micropyle, the nuclear membrane undergoes dissolution (GVD) and the cell enters metaphase I in preparation to generate the first polar body. Microtubule destabilizing drugs including colcemid, nocodazole and vinblastine were found to elicit GVM, mimicking the process which occurs just prior to the prophase I-metaphase I transition during steroid induced oocyte meiotic maturation. In addition, these drugs enhanced the induction of GVM by 17 alpha, 20 beta dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one, a potent, naturally occurring meiotogenic steroid in this species. By contrast, taxol, a microtubule stabilizing drug, was found to inhibit steroid induced GVM. A new assay for centrifugation induced GVM was applied to the goldfish oocyte in order to assess effects of steroids and drugs on GVM, without the complication of GVD or the restrictions imposed by the slow time course of naturally occurring GVM. The effective centrifugal force (ECF) required to elicit GVM in 50% of the oocytes (ECF50) decreased significantly after short incubations (1-5 hr) of oocytes with either 17 alpha, 20 beta dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one or microtubule disrupting drugs (i.e., colcemid, nocodazole, or vinblastine). A working hypothesis, modeled after the effects of microtubule disrupting agents on intermediate filament arrays in somatic cells, is proposed in which a small number of microtubules or other polymeric tubulin units are responsible for maintaining a cytoskeletal array. The net effect of progestogen or microtubule disrupting drugs would be to collapse or reorganize the array to allow GVM. © 1988.

Publication Title

Biology of the Cell