Send to

Choose Destination
Biol Reprod. 1988 Sep;39(2):295-307.

Contrast in levels of metabolic enzymes in human and mouse ova.

Author information

Department of Pharmacology, Washington University Medical School, St. Louis, Missouri 63110.


A methodology is described for analyzing single human ova for 8 or 9 different metabolic enzymes, or 4 or 5 enzymes plus as many metabolites. This overcomes an obstacle to the study of human ovum metabolism: the severe limitation of usable material. Results obtained with this methodology, applied to discarded specimens from an in vitro fertilization program, indicate that in spite of imperfections these ova can provide a valid picture of the metabolic characteristics of normal human ova. Data are presented for 17 enzymes from 8 metabolic pathways in human and mouse ova. Relative to size, 10 of the enzymes were substantially higher in human than mouse ova. Most dramatically so were 2 enzymes of fatty acid metabolism (10-fold and 15-fold), hexokinase (9-fold), and aspartate aminotransferase (19-fold). This suggests that major species differences in metabolism are present. The validity of the human data, in spite of restriction to discarded material, is supported by (1) consistency of results among most of the ova, 2] concordance between average levels with those of rare specimens that were discarded because sperm were not available, and (3) the presence of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) concentrations similar to those of normal mouse ova. Surprisingly, both human and mouse ova contain phosphocreatine at levels nearly equal of those of ATP.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center