Molecular studies of intra-oocyte phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K) signaling pathway in controlling female fertility
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
The primordial follicle pool is the main source of developing follicles in the ovary. The length of reproductive life and the onset of menopause are governed by the amount of primordial follicles in the ovary. The genetic factors and molecular mechanisms that maintain the primordial follicles in a dormant and surviving state for the whole of reproductive life are not well understood. The phosphatidylinositol 3 kinase (PI3K) signaling pathways in the oocyte that control oocyte growth and early follicular development are largely unknown. The major aim of this thesis was to investigate the functional role of the intra-oocyte PI3K pathway in the regulation of primordial follicle activation and survival.
Phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome ten (PTEN) is a major negative regulator of PI3K. The conditional deletion of Pten in the oocytes of primordial follicles led to the overgrowth of oocytes and activation of the entire pool of primordial follicles. There were higher numbers of activated primordial follicles at postnatal day 8 (PD8) in ovaries lacking PTEN in oocytes; by PD35 all the primordial follicles were activated and all the follicles were depleted by 12 weeks, causing premature ovarian failure (POF). In addition, the rate of follicular death that occurs during sexual maturity is reduced in ovaries that lack PTEN in oocytes. Further mechanistic studies revealed that loss of Pten in oocytes resulted in elevated Akt signaling and upregulation of both expression and activation of ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6). The overactivation of primordial follicles in ovaries that lack PTEN in oocytes is believed to be due to elevated expression and activation of rpS6. PTEN in oocytes is indispensable for the maintenance of primordial follicles in dormancy.
To study the role of the intra-oocyte PI3K signaling pathway in controlling the survival and maintenance of primordial follicles, 3-phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase-1 (PDK1) was deleted in oocytes of primordial follicle. The loss of Pdk1 in oocytes led to the depletion of most primordial follicles around the onset of sexual maturity, causing POF during early adulthood. Furthermore, the activation of Akt, p70 S6 kinase 1 (S6K1), and rpS6 was impaired in oocytes that lacked PDK1. The suppressed PDK1–Akt–S6K1–rpS6 signaling in oocytes appears to be responsible for the loss of primordial follicles. The excessive activation of primordial follicles seen in the absence of Pten in oocytes could be reversed by concurrent deletion of Pdk1. In addition, the elevated activation of Akt and S6K1 in the absence of PTEN in oocytes was not observed in PTEN and PDK1 double mutant mice. Similarly, the hyperphosphorylation of rpS6 in oocytes that lack PTEN was prevented in double mutant mice, which was most likely due to downregulation of S6K1 activation. Thus, inactivation of rpS6 in double mutant mice might be the reason for the prevention of excessive primordial follicular activation and survival.
PTEN and PDK1 in oocytes are essential for the maintenance of quiescence and survival of primordial follicles. The molecular network involving PI3K/PTEN–PDK1 signaling in oocyte controls the survival, loss, and activation of primordial follicles, which together govern reproductive aging and determine the length of reproductive life in females. The results of the above studies indicate that the mammalian oocyte serves as the seat of programming of follicular activation and survival.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå university , 2009. , 40 p.
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1292
Primordial follicles, Oocyte, PI3K
Medical Biotechnology (with a focus on Cell Biology (including Stem Cell Biology), Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Biochemistry or Biopharmacy)
Research subject Developmental Biology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-26088ISBN: 978-91-7264-837-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-26088DiVA: diva2:240332
Distributor:Medicinsk kemi och biofysik, 901 85, Umeå
2009-10-23, KB3A9, KBC building, Umeå University, 13:00 (English)
Telfer, Evelyn, Associate Professor
Liu, Kui, Associate Professor
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