Oocyte-specific deletion of Gsα induces oxidative stress and deteriorates oocyte quality in mice

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The stimulatory heterotrimeric Gs protein alpha subunit (Gsα) is a ubiquitous guanine nucleotide-binding protein that regulates the intracellular cAMP signaling pathway and consequently participates in a wide range of biological events. In the reproductive system, despite Gsα being associated with oocyte meiotic arrest in vitro, the exact role of Gsα in female fertility in vivo remains largely unknown. Here, we generated oocyte-specific Gsα knockout mice by using the Cre/LoxP system. We observed that the deletion of Gsα caused complete female infertility. Exclusion of post-implantation abnormalities, oogenesis, fertilization, and early embryo development was subsequently monitored; meiosis in Gsα-deficient oocytes precociously resumed in only 43% of antral follicles from mutant mice, indicating that alteration of meiotic pause was not the key factor in infertility. Ovulation process and number were normal, but the rate of morphological abnormal oocytes was apparently increased; spindle organization, fertilization, and early embryo development were impaired. Furthermore, the level of ROS (reactive oxygen species) and the mitochondrial aggregation increased, and antioxidant glutathione (GSH) content, ATP level, mtDNA copy number, and mitochondrial membrane potential decreased in Gsα-deficient oocytes. GV oocytes from mutant mice showed early-stage apoptosis. Meanwhile, the Gsα knockout-induced decline in oocyte quality and low developmental potential was partially rescued by antioxidant supplementation. To sum up, our results are the first to reveal that the profile of Gsα oocyte-specific deletion caused female infertility in vivo, and oxidative stress plays an important role in this event.HighlightsOocyte-specific disruption of Gsα leads to female infertility in mice.Deletion of Gsα in oocytes causes poor oocyte quality and impaired early embryo development.Gsα deficiency in oocytes leads to oxidative stress.

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