Maturation of the Oocyte-Cumulus Cell Complex in Mice: Specificity of Epidermal Growth Factor Activity
Fully grown mammalian oocytes within the ovary remain arrested in prophase 1 of meiosis until the preovulatory gonadotropin surge, at which time the resumption of meiotic maturation is stimulated in a specific group of graafian follicles. This event is heralded by dissolution of the nucleus, a process termed germinal vesicle breakdown (GVB). The mechanism by which oocytes are induced to mature in vivo is poorly understood. Because GVB occurs spontaneously when meiotically competent oocytes are removed from the ovary and placed in culture, it appears that the ovary provides inhibitory input that maintains meiotic arrest. Indeed, various follicular fluid components have been shown to suppress the spontaneous maturation of oocytes (1,2).
KeywordsEpidermal Growth Factor Oocyte Maturation Cumulus Cell Meiotic Maturation Germinal Vesicle Breakdown
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