Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/2440/17288
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Type: Journal article
Title: Oocytes prevent cumulus cell apoptosis by maintaining a morphogenic paracrine gradient of bone morphogenetic proteins
Author: Hussein, T.
Froiland, D.
Amato, F.
Thompson, J.
Gilchrist, R.
Citation: Journal of Cell Science, 2005; 118(22):5257-5268
Publisher: Company of Biologists Ltd
Issue Date: 2005
ISSN: 0021-9533
1477-9137
Statement of
Responsibility: 
Tamer S. Hussein, David A. Froiland, Fred Amato, Jeremy G. Thompson and Robert B.
Abstract: Paracrine factors secreted by the oocyte regulate a broad range of cumulus cell functions. Characteristically, cumulus cells have a low incidence of apoptosis and we proposed that this is due to oocyte-secreted factors acting in an anti-apoptotic manner. Bovine cumulus-oocyte complexes (COC) were aspirated from abattoir-derived ovaries and oocytectomized (OOX) by microsurgical removal of the oocyte. OOX were treated with doses of either denuded oocytes (DO) or various growth factors for 24 hours (± rFSH; 0.1 IU/ml). Proportions of apoptotic cumulus cells were assessed using TUNEL and laser confocal scanning microscopy followed by image analysis. Quantification of Bcl-2 and Bax proteins in OOX was undertaken by western analysis. Oocyte removal led to a significant increase in cumulus cell apoptosis compared with COC controls (35% versus 9% TUNEL positive, respectively; P<0.001). Levels of OOX apoptosis were significantly reversed (P<0.001) in a dose-dependent manner when co-cultured with oocytes. Furthermore, the anti-apoptotic effect of oocyte-secreted factors followed a gradient from the site of the oocyte(s). Growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) had no significant effect on cumulus cell apoptosis. By contrast, cumulus cell apoptosis was significantly (P<0.001) reduced by bone morphogenetic proteins (BMP) 15, 6 or 7. Accordingly, levels of antiapoptotic Bcl-2 were high in OOX+DO and OOX+BMP15 and low with OOX+GDF9 or OOX alone, whereas the reverse was observed for pro-apoptotic Bax. DO, BMP15 and BMP6 were also able to protect cumulus cells from undergoing apoptosis induced by staurosporine. FSH partially prevented apoptosis in all treatment groups (P<0.001). Follistatin and a BMP6 neutralizing antibody, which antagonized the anti-apoptotic effects of BMP15 and BMP6, respectively, whether alone or combined, blocked ~50% of the anti-apoptotic actions of oocytes. These results are the first to demonstrate that oocyte-secreted factors, and particularly BMP15 and BMP6, maintain the low incidence of cumulus cell apoptosis by establishing a localized gradient of bone morphogenetic proteins.
Keywords: oocyte-secreted factors; bone morphogenetic proteins; cumulus cell; apoptosis
Description: © The Company of Biologists Ltd 2005
RMID: 0020051324
DOI: 10.1242/jcs.02644
Published version: http://jcs.biologists.org/cgi/content/abstract/118/22/5257
Appears in Collections:Obstetrics and Gynaecology publications

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