Oocyte-specific deletion of Pten in mice reveals a stage-specific function of PTEN/PI3K signaling in oocytes in controlling follicular activation

Krishna Jagarlamudi, Lian Liu, Deepak Adhikari, Pradeep Reddy, Annika Idahl, Ulrika Ottander, Eva Lundin, Kui Liu

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Immature ovarian primordial follicles are essential for maintenance of the reproductive lifespan of female mammals. Recently, it was found that overactivation of the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling in oocytes of primordial follicles by an oocyte-specific deletion of Pten (phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome ten), the gene encoding PI3K negative regulator PTEN, results in premature activation of the entire pool of primordial follicles, indicating that activation of the PI3K pathway in oocytes is important for control of follicular activation. To investigate whether PI3K signaling in oocytes of primary and further developed follicles also plays a role at later stages in follicular development and ovulation, we conditionally deleted the Pten gene from oocytes of primary and further developed follicles by using transgenic mice expressing zona pellucida 3 (Zp3) promoter-mediated Cre recombinase. Our results show that Pten was efficiently deleted from oocytes of primary and further developed follicles, as indicated by the elevated phosphorylation of the major PI3K downstream component Akt. However, follicular development was not altered and oocyte maturation was also normal, which led to normal fertility with unaltered litter size in the mutant mice. Our data indicate that properly controlled PTEN/ PI3K-Akt signaling in oocytes is essential for control of the development of primordial follicles whereas overactivation of PI3K signaling in oocytes does not appear to affect the development of growing follicles. This suggests that there is a stage-specific function of PTEN/PI3K signaling in mouse oocytes that controls follicular activation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere6186
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2009
Externally publishedYes

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