Role of follicle wall in meiosis reinitiation induced by insulin in Rana pipiens oocytes


The involvement of the ovarian follicle wall in insulin induction of Rana pipiens oocyte maturation in vitro was examined. Complete removal of the follicle wall significantly decreased, but did not obliterate, oocyte maturation (i.e., germinal vesicle breakdown, GVBD) induced by insulin. Dose-response studies of GVBD induction revealed that oocytes within intact follicles were at least 100 times more sensitive to insulin than denuded oocytes. Addition of cyanoketone, a steroid biosynthesis inhibitor, to intact follicles also suppressed insulin-induced GVBD. Inhibitory effects of either follicle wall removal or cyanoketone were not observed when denuded oocytes were treated with progesterone. Addition of either progesterone or pregnenolone to insulin-treated denuded oocytes augmented the oocyte GVBD response compared to either steroid alone and essentially replaced the effect of the follicle wall. In summary, steroidogenesis in the follicle wall appears to be a major factor contributing to the ability of insulin to induce GVBD. However, whether insulin stimulates follicle wall steroidogenesis or simply augments the biological activity of endogenous basal steroid levels is unresolved. The in vitro results show that oocyte maturation can be modulated by the combined actions of several hormones. Such steroid-insulin interactions may also be relevant to understanding the control of oocyte maturation in amphibians and other vertebrates, including mammals, under physiological conditions in vivo.

Publication Title

American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism