Electrophysiology of in vitro insulin‐ and progesterone‐induced reinitiation of oocyte meiosis in Rana pipiens


Induction of meiosis in Rana pipiens oocytes in vitro was studied using intracellular electrophysiological recordings and a morphological count of nuclear dissolution. In type III (i.e., defolliculated theca‐free, with follicle cells) and type IV (i.e., denuded lacking follicle cells) Rana oocytes (Schuetz and Lessman, '82), Na+‐insulin evoked nuclear or germinal vesicle dissolution (GVD), apparent reinitiation of meiosis, and marked reductions in cellular membrane potential and membrane current. Electrophysiological indications of the reinitiation of oocyte meiosis were most strongly apparent in the marked reduction (ca. 98%) of membrane current. The overall GVD activity of insulin was reduced but not totally absent in type IV oocytes compared to type III cells that received similar hormone treatment, confirming previously published findings that the follicle wall enhances insulin‐induced GVD. Results confirm insulin GVD activity in this system and demonstrate that insulin‐induced reinitiation of meiosis is associated with changes in membrane‐associated parameters that are indistinguishable from those induced by progesterone. These results raise interesting questions concerning the cellular mechanism by which two chemically dissimilar hormones (i.e., steroid vs. protein) have similar or even identical effects on a cell such as the oocyte. The findings presented are consistent with the concept that more than one hormone may be involved in meiotic maturation of the oocyte. Copyright © 1984 Wiley‐Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company

Publication Title

Journal of Experimental Zoology