Faculty Research 1980 - 1989

Induction of mouse oocyte maturation in vivo by perturbants of purine metabolism.

Document Type


Publication Date


First Page


Last Page


JAX Source

Biol Reprod 1987 Mar; 36(2):431-7.




Previous studies have suggested a critical role for purines in the maintenance of mouse oocytes in meiotic arrest. If so, then disrupting specific purine metabolic pathways in vivo might induce the resumption of oocyte maturation. To test this hypothesis, immature mice were primed with pregnant mare's serum gonadotropin and 24 h later received, by i.p. injection, one of several drugs that inhibit specific enzymes in the purine metabolic pathways. Cumulus cell-enclosed oocytes were isolated from the ovaries at varying times after drug treatment and assessed for germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD). The inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase inhibitors, mycophenolic acid (MA) and bredinin (Br), each induced GVBD in a dose-dependent fashion, Br being the more effective agent. When the kinetics of oocyte maturation were examined, 71% of the oocytes from MA-treated mice had undergone GVBD 21-22 h after drug administration. Moreover, 100% GVBD was observed in oocytes from Br-treated mice after 6 h. The action of these drugs appeared to be a direct one and not mediated through stimulation of pituitary gonadotropin release or atresia. Azaserine, an inhibitor of de novo purine synthesis, also induced GVBD in a dose-dependent manner. However, sodium hadacidin and dl-alanosine, inhibitors of adenylosuccinate synthetase, failed to elicit a maturational response in oocytes in vivo. These data support an essential role for guanyl and/or xanthyl derivatives in the maintenance of meiotic arrest in vivo.