Participation of IP3R, RyR and L-type Ca2+ channel in the nuclear maturation of Rhinella arenarum oocytes

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During meiosis resumption, oocytes undergo a series of nuclear and cytosolic changes that prepare them for fertilization and that are referred to as oocyte maturation. These events are characterized by germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD), chromatin condensation and spindle formation and, among cytosolic changes, organelle redistribution and maturation of Ca2+-release mechanisms. The progression of the meiotic cell cycle is regulated by M phase/maturation-promoting factor (MPF) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). Changes in the levels of intracellular free Ca2+ ion have also been implicated strongly in the triggering of the initiation of the M phase. Ca2+ signals can be generated by Ca2+ release from intracellular Ca2+ stores (endoplasmic reticulum; ER) or by Ca2+ influx from the extracellular space. In this sense, the L-type Ca2+ channel plays an important role in the incorporation of Ca2+ from the extracellular space. Two types of intracellular Ca2+ receptor/channels are known to mediate the intracellular Ca2+ release from the ER lumen. The most abundant, the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (IP3R), and the other Ca2+ channel, the ryanodine receptor (RyR), have also been reported to mediate Ca2+ release in several oocytes. In amphibians, MPF and MAPK play a central role during oocyte maturation, controlling several events. However, no definitive relationships have been identified between Ca2+ and MPF or MAPK. We investigated the participation of Ca2+ in the spontaneous and progesterone-induced nuclear maturation in Rhinella arenarum oocytes and the effect of different pharmacological agents known to produce modifications in the Ca2+ channels. We demonstrated that loading competent and incompetent oocytes with the intracellular calcium chelator BAPTA/AM produced suppression of spontaneous and progesterone-induced GVBD. In our results, the capacity of progesterone to trigger meiosis reinitiation in Rhinella in the presence of L-type Ca2+ channel blockers (nifedipine and lanthane) indicated that spontaneous and progesterone-induced maturation would be independent of extracellular calcium influx, but would be sensitive to intracellular Ca2+ deprivation. As demonstrated by the effect of thimerosal and heparin in Rhinella arenarum, the intracellular increase in Ca2+ during maturation is also mediated mainly by IP3R. In addition, our results using caffeine, an agonist of the RyR, could suggest that Ca2+ release from ryanodine-sensitive stores is not essential for oocyte maturation in Rhinella. The decrease in MPF activity with NaVO3 negatively affected the percentage of thimerosal-induced GVBD. This finding suggests that Ca2+ release through the IP3R could be involved in the signalling pathway that induces MPF activation. However, the inhibition of MAP/ERK kinase (MEK) by PD98128 or P90 by geldanamycin produced a significant decrease in the percentages of GVBD induced by thimerosal. This finding suggests that Ca2+ release per se cannot bypass the inhibition of the MAPK activity.

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