Incubation of sturgeon full-grown ovarian follicles in amphibian Ringer solution with increased sodium bicarbonate concentration results in “spontaneous” oocyte maturation. Addition of sodium bicarbonate to diluted Leibovitz medium also induces maturation of follicle-enclosed oocytes. Effective threshold concentration of sodium bicarbonate depends on the composition of culture medium and, especially, on the physiological state of follicle-enclosed oocytes. As evidenced by experiments with actinomycin D, oocyte maturation induced by bicarbonate ions does not depend on RNA synthesis. An attempt was made to elucidate the involvement of steroidogenesis in bicarbonate ions-induced oocyte maturation. Surprisingly, the inhibitors used, such as aminoglutethimide, diltiazem, and estradiol-17β, not only did not inhibit but also enhanced oocyte maturation. Manual removal of follicle envelopes demonstrated that denuded oocytes retained the ability to mature in a culture medium with increased sodium bicarbonate concentration. However, the range of effective bicarbonate ion concentrations for denuded oocytes is more restricted than for the follicle-enclosed oocytes. A hypothesis of competition of different processes occurring in the ovarian follicle for energy resources is proposed to explain the revealed paradoxical effect of substances affecting steroidogenesis.
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 26, 2014
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