Insulin induction of meiosis of rana pipiens oocytes: Relation to endogenous progesterone


The follicle wall was previously shown to be involved in insulin induction of oocyte maturation in Rana pipiens ovarian follicles. Steroidogenic involvement in insulin induction of maturation was investigated following development of a radioimmunoassay (RIA) for progesterone to measure endogenous progesterone associated with in vitro incubates. Insulin and frog pituitary homogenate (FPH) were both found to elevate progesterone levels significantly in these incubates. FPH was more effective in elevating progesterone levels than insulin and caused progesterone increase of about 2 orders of magnitude greater than insulin. Removal of the follicle wall eliminated the steroidogenic effects of insulin. Considerable interanimal variation was observed in the ability of insulin to induce oocyte germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) in intact follicles. The hypothesis was proposed that differences in endogenous progesterone might explain this variation. To test this hypothesis, an experiment was carried out in which hormone production and follicular sensitivity to insulin were simultaneously determined in follicles obtained from the same animals. Results of the experiment show that the ability of insulin to induce GVBD, as indicated by the effective concentration needed for 50% response (ED50), was strongly correlated with the levels of endogenous progesterone as measured by RIA. The results provide direct evidence that insulin's action on the follicle wall involves steroid production. It was thus concluded that increased endogenous progesterone facilitates GVBD induction by insulin. It is unclear how the two hormones interact to produce an enhanced effect, but interactions at the receptor or postreceptor level may be involved. This follicle system may provide important insights into the mode of action and interaction of these two important hormones. Copyright © 1982 Alan R. Liss, Inc.

Publication Title

Gamete Research