A Potential Role for AMP-Activated Protein Kinase in Meiotic Induction in Mouse Oocytes
Cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) has been implicated as an important regulator of meiotic maturation in mammalian oocytes. A decrease in cAMP, brought about by the action of cAMP phosphodiesterase (PDE), is thought to initiate germinal vesicle breakdown (GVB) by the inactivation of cAMP-dependent protein kinase. However, the product of PDE activity, 5′-AMP, is a potent activator of an important regulatory enzyme, AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). The aim of this study was to evaluate a possible role for AMPK in meiotic induction, using oocytes obtained from eCG-primed, immature mice. Alpha-1 and -2 isoforms of the catalytic subunit of AMPK were detected in both oocytes and cumulus cells. When 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide 1-β-d-ribofuranoside (AICA riboside), an activator of AMPK, was tested on denuded oocytes (DO) and cumulus cell-enclosed oocytes (CEO) maintained in meiotic arrest by dbcAMP or hypoxanthine, GVB was dose-dependently induced. Meiotic induction by AICA riboside in dbcAMP-supplemented medium was initiated within 3 h in DO and 4 h in CEO and was accompanied by increased AMPK activity in the oocyte. AICA riboside also triggered GVB when meiotic arrest was maintained with hypoxanthine, 8-AHA-cAMP, guanosine, or milrinone, but was ineffective in olomoucine- or roscovitine-arrested oocytes, indicating that it acts upstream of maturation-promoting factor. Adenosine monophosphate dose-dependently stimulated GVB in DO when meiotic arrest was maintained with dbcAMP or hypoxanthine. This effect was not mimicked by other monophosphate or adenosine nucleotides and was not affected by inhibitors of ectophosphatases. Combined treatment with adenosine and deoxycoformycin, an adenosine deaminase inhibitor, stimulated GVB in dbcAMP-arrested CEO, suggesting AMPK activation due to AMP accumulation. It is concluded that phosphodiesterase-generated AMP may serve as a transducer of the meiotic induction process through activation of AMPK.