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Mol Reprod Dev. 2011 Oct-Nov;78(10-11):744-56. doi: 10.1002/mrd.21332. Epub 2011 Jun 8.

Ca2+ signaling during maturation of cumulus-oocyte complex in mammals.

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Animal Physiology and Evolution Laboratory, Stazione Zoologica Anton Dohrn, Naples, Italy.


Under the influence of gonadotropins or growth factors, a close cooperation develops between cumulus cells and the oocyte that is implicated in transmitting signals involved in maintaining or releasing the meiotic arrest in the oocyte. While cyclic adenosine 5'-monophosphate (cAMP) is a key molecule in maintaining the meiotic arrest, calcium (Ca(2+)) may play a role in controlling either spontaneous or gonadotropin-induced oocyte maturation, possibly by modulating intracytoplasmic cAMP concentrations via Ca(2+)-sensitive adenylate cyclases. This review focuses on the mechanisms related to the origin of the Ca(2+) wave that travels from the cumulus cells to the oocyte, and discusses the source of variations affecting the dynamics of this wave.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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