mTORC1 signaling in oocytes is dispensable for the survival of primordial follicles and for female fertility

Nagaraju Gorre, Deepak Adhikari, Rebecca Lindkvist, Mats Brännström, Kui Liu, Yan Shen

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33 Citations (Scopus)


The molecular mechanisms underlying reproductive aging and menopausal age in female mammals are poorly understood. Mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) is a central controller of cell growth and proliferation. To determine whether mTORC1 signaling in oocytes plays a direct role in physiological follicular development and fertility in female mice, we conditionally deleted the specific and essential mTORC1 component Rptor (regulatory-associated protein of mTORC1) from the oocytes of primordial follicles by using transgenic mice expressing growth differentiation factor 9 (Gdf-9) promoter-mediated Cre recombinase. We provide in vivo evidence that deletion of Rptor in the oocytes of both primordial and further-developed follicles leads to the loss of mTORC1 signaling in oocytes as indicated by loss of phosphorylation of S6K1 and 4e-bp1 at T389 and S65, respectively. However, the follicular development and fertility of mice lacking Rptor in oocytes were not affected. Mechanistically, the loss of mTORC1 signaling in Rptor-deleted mouse oocytes led to the elevation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling that maintained normal follicular development and fertility. Therefore, this study shows that loss of mTORC1 signaling in oocytes triggers a compensatory activation of the PI3K signaling cascade that maintains normal ovarian follicular development and fertility.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere110491
Number of pages5
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes

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