Molecular analysis of the effects of steroid hormones on mouse meiotic prophase I progression.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Infertility is linked to depletion of the primordial follicle pool consisting of individual oocytes arrested at the diplotene stage of meiotic prophase I surrounded by granulosa cells. Primordial germ cells, the oocyte precursors, begin to differentiate during embryonic development. These cells migrate to the genital ridge and begin mitotic divisions, remaining connected, through incomplete cytokinesis, in clusters of synchronously dividing oogonia known as germ cell cysts. Subsequently, they enter meiosis, become oocytes and progress through prophase I to the diplotene stage. The cysts break apart, allowing individual oocytes to be surrounded by a layer of granulosa cells, forming primordial follicles each containing a diplotene arrested oocyte. A large number of oocytes are lost coincident with cyst breakdown, and may be important for quality control of primordial follicle formation. Exposure of developing ovaries to exogenous hormones can disrupt cyst breakdown and follicle formation, but it is unclear if hormones affect progression of oocytes through prophase I of meiosis. METHODS:Fetal ovaries were treated in organ culture with estradiol, progesterone, or both hormones, labeled for MSY2 or Synaptonemal complex protein 3 (SYCP3) using whole mount immunocytochemistry and examined by confocal microscopy. Meiotic prophase I progression was also followed using the meiotic surface spread technique. RESULTS:MSY2 expression in oocytes was reduced by progesterone but not estradiol or the hormone combination. However, while MSY2 expression was upregulated during development it was not a precise marker for the diplotene stage. We also followed meiotic prophase I progression using antibodies against SYCP3 using two different methods, and found that the percent of oocytes at the pachytene stage peaked at postnatal day 1. Finally, estradiol and progesterone treatment together but not either alone in organ culture increased the percent of oocytes at the pachytene stage. CONCLUSIONS:We set out to examine the effects of hormones on prophase I progression and found that while MSY2 expression was reduced by progesterone, MSY2 was not a precise diplotene stage marker. Using antibodies against SYCP3 to identify pachytene stage oocytes we found that progesterone and estradiol together delayed progression of oocytes through prophase I.
Project description:During mammalian meiotic prophase, homologous chromosomes connect through the formation of the synaptonemal complex (SC). SYCP3 is a component of the lateral elements of the SC. We have generated transgenic mice expressing N- or C-terminal fluorescent-tagged SYCP3 (mCherry-SYCP3 (CSYCP) and SYCP3-mCherry (SYCPC)) to study SC dynamics and chromosome movements in vivo. Neither transgene rescued meiotic aberrations in Sycp3 knockouts, but CSYCP could form short axial element-like structures in the absence of endogenous SYCP3. On the wild-type background, both fusion proteins localized to the axes of the SC together with endogenous SYCP3, albeit with delayed initiation (from pachytene) in spermatocytes. Around 40% of CSYCP and SYCPC that accumulated on the SC was rapidly exchanging with other tagged proteins, as analyzed by fluorescent recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) assay. We used the CSYCP transgenic mice for further live cell analyses and observed synchronized bouquet configurations in living cysts of two or three zygotene oocyte nuclei expressing CSYCP, which presented cycles of telomere clustering and dissolution. Rapid chromosome movements were observed in both zygotene oocytes and pachytene spermatocytes, but rotational movements of the nucleus were more clear in oocytes. In diplotene spermatocytes, desynapsis was found to proceed in a discontinuous manner, whereby even brief chromosome re-association events were observed. Thus, this live imaging approach can be used to follow changes in the dynamic behavior of the nucleus and chromatin, in normal mice and different infertile mouse models.
Project description:Mouse zinc finger and SCAN domain containing 4 (Zscan4) proteins, which are encoded by multiple copies of Zscan4 genes, are expressed specifically in preimplantation embryos in vivo and embryonic stem (ES) cells in vitro. However, the expression patterns of mouse Zscan4 in vivo have been largely elusive. Here, we show that Zscan4 proteins are expressed in adult ovaries and testes. In ovaries, Zscan4 proteins were detected in germinal vesicle (GV) stage oocytes in antral follicles, indicating that Zscan4 genes are activated during the diplotene/dictyate stage in meiotic prophase I. Remarkably, Zscan4 showed different spatial localization patterns between two distinct GV oocytes, which can be distinguished by global chromatin organization-surrounded nucleolus (SN) and non-surrounded nucleolus (NSN). These spatiotemporal differences in Zscan4 localizations correlated with the transition of RNA polymerase II-mediated transcriptional status during GV oocyte maturation. In testes, Zscan4 proteins were detected in spermatocytes at late pachytene/diplotene stages and in Sertoli cells. These results suggest that Zscan4 may play critical roles during late meiotic prophase in both males and females.
Project description:Well-timed progression of primordial folliculogenesis is essential for mammalian female fertility. Progesterone (P4) inhibits primordial follicle formation under physiological conditions; however, P4 receptor that mediates this effect and its underlying mechanisms are unclear. In this study, we used an in vitro organ culture system to show that progesterone receptor membrane component 1 (PGRMC1) mediated P4-induced inhibition of oocyte meiotic prophase I and primordial follicle formation. We found that membrane-impermeable BSA-conjugated P4 inhibited primordial follicle formation similar to that by P4. Interestingly, PGRMC1 and its partner serpine1 mRNA-binding protein 1 were highly expressed in oocytes in perinatal ovaries. Inhibition or RNA interference of PGRMC1 abolished the suppressive effect of P4 on follicle formation. Furthermore, P4-PGRMC1 interaction blocked oocyte meiotic progression and decreased intra-oocyte cyclic AMP (cAMP) levels in perinatal ovaries. cAMP analog dibutyryl cAMP reversed P4-PGRMC1 interaction-induced inhibition of meiotic progression and follicle formation. Thus, our results indicated that PGRMC1 mediated P4-induced suppression of oocyte meiotic progression and primordial folliculogenesis by decreasing intra-oocyte cAMP levels.
Project description:Type 2 cannabinoid receptor (CB2R) has been proposed to promote in vitro meiotic entry of postnatal male germ cells and to maintain the temporal progression of spermatogenesis in vivo. However, no information is presently available on the role played by CB2R in male and female fetal gonads. Here we show that in vitro pharmacological stimulation with JWH133, a CB2R agonist, induced activation of the meiotic program in both male and female fetal gonads. Upon stimulation, gonocytes initiated the meiotic program but became arrested at early stages of prophase I, while oocytes showed an increased rate of meiotic entry and progression toward more advanced stage of meiosis. Acceleration of meiosis in oocytes was accompanied by a strong increase in the percentage of ?-H2AX-positive pachytene and diplotene cells, paralleled by an increase of TUNEL-positive cells, suggesting that DNA double-strand breaks were not correctly repaired during meiosis, leading to oocyte apoptosis. Interestingly, in vivo pharmacological stimulation of CB2R in fetal germ cells through JWH133 administration to pregnant females caused a significant reduction of primordial and primary follicles in the ovaries of newborns with a consequent depletion of ovarian reserve and reduced fertility in adult life, while no alterations of spermatogenesis in the testis of the offspring were detected. Altogether our findings highlight a pro-meiotic role of CB2R in male and female germ cells and suggest that the use of cannabis in pregnant female might represent a risk for fertility and reproductive lifespan in female offspring.
Project description:Primordial follicles, providing all the oocytes available to a female throughout her reproductive life, assemble in perinatal ovaries with individual oocytes surrounded by granulosa cells. In mammals including the mouse, most oocytes die by apoptosis during primordial follicle assembly, but factors that regulate oocyte death remain largely unknown. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), a key regulator in many essential cellular processes, was shown to be differentially expressed during these processes in mouse ovaries using 2D-PAGE and MALDI-TOF/TOF methodology. A V-shaped expression pattern of PCNA in both oocytes and somatic cells was observed during the development of fetal and neonatal mouse ovaries, decreasing from 13.5 to 18.5 dpc and increasing from 18.5 dpc to 5 dpp. This was closely correlated with the meiotic prophase I progression from pre-leptotene to pachytene and from pachytene to diplotene when primordial follicles started to assemble. Inhibition of the increase of PCNA expression by RNA interference in cultured 18.5 dpc mouse ovaries strikingly reduced the apoptosis of oocytes, accompanied by down-regulation of known pro-apoptotic genes, e.g. Bax, caspase-3, and TNF? and TNFR2, and up-regulation of Bcl-2, a known anti-apoptotic gene. Moreover, reduced expression of PCNA was observed to significantly increase primordial follicle assembly, but these primordial follicles contained fewer granulosa cells. Similar results were obtained after down-regulation by RNA interference of Ing1b, a PCNA-binding protein in the UV-induced apoptosis regulation. Thus, our results demonstrate that PCNA regulates primordial follicle assembly by promoting apoptosis of oocytes in fetal and neonatal mouse ovaries.
Project description:Recent studies in simple model organisms have shown that centromere pairing is important for ensuring high-fidelity meiotic chromosome segregation. However, this process and the mechanisms regulating it in higher eukaryotes are unknown. Here we present the first detailed study of meiotic centromere pairing in mouse spermatogenesis and link it with key events of the G2/metaphase I transition. In mouse we observed no evidence of the persistent coupling of centromeres that has been observed in several model organisms. We do however find that telomeres associate in non-homologous pairs or small groups in B type spermatogonia and pre-leptotene spermatocytes, and this association is disrupted by deletion of the synaptonemal complex component SYCP3. Intriguingly, we found that, in mid prophase, chromosome synapsis is not initiated at centromeres, and centromeric regions are the last to pair in the zygotene-pachytene transition. In late prophase, we first identified the proteins that reside at paired centromeres. We found that components of the central and lateral element and transverse filaments of the synaptonemal complex are retained at paired centromeres after disassembly of the synaptonemal complex along diplotene chromosome arms. The absence of SYCP1 prevents centromere pairing in knockout mouse spermatocytes. The localization dynamics of SYCP1 and SYCP3 suggest that they play different roles in promoting homologous centromere pairing. SYCP1 remains only at paired centromeres coincident with the time at which some kinetochore proteins begin loading at centromeres, consistent with a role in assembly of meiosis-specific kinetochores. After removal of SYCP1 from centromeres, SYCP3 then accumulates at paired centromeres where it may promote bi-orientation of homologous centromeres. We propose that, in addition to their roles as synaptonemal complex components, SYCP1 and SYCP3 act at the centromeres to promote the establishment and/or maintenance of centromere pairing and, by doing so, improve the segregation fidelity of mammalian meiotic chromosomes.
Project description:To ensure correct meiotic chromosome segregation, sister chromatid cohesion (SCC) needs to be maintained from its establishment in prophase I oocytes before birth until continuation of meiosis into metaphase II upon oocyte maturation in the adult. Aging human oocytes suffer a steep increase in chromosome missegregation and aneuploidy, which may be caused by loss of SCC through slow deterioration of cohesin [1-3]. This hypothesis assumes that cohesin expression in embryonic oocytes is sufficient to provide adequate long-term SCC. With increasing age, mouse oocytes deficient in the meiosis-specific cohesin SMC1? massively lose SCC and chiasmata [3, 4]. To test the deterioration hypothesis, we specifically and highly efficiently inactivated the mouse Smc1? gene at the primordial follicle stage shortly after birth, when oocytes had just entered meiosis I dictyate arrest. In the adult, however, irrespective of oocyte age, chiasma positions and SCC are normal. Frequency and size of litters prove full fertility even in aged females. Thus, SMC1? cohesin needs only be expressed during prophase I prior to the primordial follicle stage to ensure SCC up to advanced age of mice.
Project description:Mammalian oocytes are arrested at prophase of the first meiotic division in the primordial follicle pool for months, even years, after birth depending on species, and only a limited number of oocytes resume meiosis, complete maturation, and ovulate with each reproductive cycle. We recently reported that protein phosphatase 6 (PP6), a member of the PP2A-like subfamily, which accounts for cellular serine/threonine phosphatase activity, functions in completing the second meiosis. Here, we generated mutant mice with a specific deletion of Ppp6c in oocytes from the primordial follicle stage by crossing Ppp6cF/F mice with Gdf9-Cre mice and found that Ppp6cF/F; GCre+ mice are infertile. Depletion of PP6c caused folliculogenesis defects and germ cell loss independent of the traditional AKT/mTOR pathway, but due to persistent phosphorylation of H2AX (a marker of double strand breaks), increased susceptibility to DNA damage and defective DNA repair, which led to massive oocyte elimination and eventually premature ovarian failure (POF). Our findings uncover an important role for PP6 as an indispensable guardian of genomic integrity of the lengthy prophase I oocyte arrest, maintenance of primordial follicle pool, and thus female fertility.
Project description:Lanosterol 14 ?-demethylase (CYP51) plays a crucial role in cholesterol biosynthesis. In gamete development, CYP51 is involved in initiating meiosis resumption in oocytes through its product, meiosis activating sterol (MAS). In this study, CYP51 was observed to localize within the nucleus of germ cells undergoing meiotic prophase I. Following the addition of retinoic acid (RA) to induce meiosis or the RA receptor pan-antagonist AGN193109 to block meiosis in fetal ovaries, the translocation of CYP51 into the nucleus of oocytes was advanced or delayed, respectively. In addition, treatment with Cyp51-siRNA or RS21745, a specific CYP51 inhibitor, significantly delayed the meiotic progression of oocytes in the ovary, with most oocytes arresting at the zygotene stage, and likewise, significantly reduced perinatal primordial follicle formation. Furthermore, inhibition of CYP51 is correlated to significantly decreased expression of REC8 and STAG3, both of which are meiosis-specific cohesin subunits. To sum up, RA-induced CYP51 nuclear translocation is critical for oocytes meiotic progression, and consequently folliculogenesis, which might act through impacting the expression of meiosis-specific cohesins REC8 and STAG3.
Project description:In many animals, oocytes enter meiosis early in their development but arrest in meiotic prophase I. Oocyte growth, which occurs during this arrest period, enables the acquisition of meiotic competence and the capacity to produce healthy progeny. Meiotic resumption, or meiotic maturation, involves the transition to metaphase I (M phase) and is regulated by intercellular signaling and cyclin-dependent kinase activation. Premature meiotic maturation would be predicted to diminish fertility as the timing of this event, which normally occurs after oocyte growth is complete, is crucial. In the accompanying article in this issue, we identify the highly conserved TRIM-NHL protein LIN-41 as a translational repressor that copurifies with OMA-1 and OMA-2, RNA-binding proteins redundantly required for normal oocyte growth and meiotic maturation. In this article, we show that LIN-41 enables the production of high-quality oocytes and plays an essential role in controlling and coordinating oocyte growth and meiotic maturation. lin-41 null mutants display a striking defect that is specific to oogenesis: pachytene-stage cells cellularize prematurely and fail to progress to diplotene. Instead, these cells activate CDK-1, enter M phase, assemble spindles, and attempt to segregate chromosomes. Translational derepression of the CDK-1 activator CDC-25.3 appears to contribute to premature M-phase entry in lin-41 mutant oocytes. Genetic and phenotypic analyses indicate that LIN-41 and OMA-1/2 exhibit an antagonistic relationship, and we suggest that translational regulation by these proteins could be important for controlling and coordinating oocyte growth and meiotic maturation.