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Specific deletion of AMP-activated protein kinase (α1AMPK) in murine oocytes alters junctional protein expression and mitochondrial physiology

Abstract : Oogenesis and folliculogenesis are dynamic processes that are regulated by endocrine, paracrine and autocrine signals. These signals are exchanged between the oocyte and the somatic cells of the follicle. Here we analyzed the role of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), an important regulator of cellular energy homeostasis, by using transgenic mice deficient in α1AMPK specifically in the oocyte. We found a decrease of 27% in litter size was observed in ZP3-α1AMPK-/- (ZP3-KO) female mice. Following in vitro fertilization, where conditions are stressful for the oocyte and embryo, ZP3-KO oocytes were 68% less likely to pass the 2-cell stage. In vivo and in cumulus-oocyte complexes, several proteins involved in junctional communication, such as connexin37 and N-cadherin were down-regulated in the absence of α1AMPK. While the two signalling pathways (PKA and MAPK) involved in the junctional communication between the cumulus/granulosa cells and the oocyte were stimulated in control oocytes, ZP3-KO oocytes exhibited only low phosphorylation of MAPK or CREB proteins. In addition, MII oocytes deficient in α1AMPK had a 3-fold lower ATP concentration, an increase in abnormal mitochondria, and a decrease in cytochrome C and PGC1α levels, suggesting perturbed energy production by mitochondria. The absence of α1AMPK also induced a reduction in histone deacetylase activity, which was associated with an increase in histone H3 acetylation (K9/K14 residues). Together, the results of the present study suggest that absence of AMPK, modifies oocyte quality through energy processes and oocyte/somatic cell communication. The limited effect observed in vivo could be partly due to a favourable follicle microenvironment where nutrients, growth factors, and adequate cell interaction were present. Whereas in a challenging environment such as that of in vitro culture following IVF, the phenotype is revealed.
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Michael J. Bertoldo, Edith Guibert, Mélanie Faure, Christelle Rame, Marc Foretz, et al.. Specific deletion of AMP-activated protein kinase (α1AMPK) in murine oocytes alters junctional protein expression and mitochondrial physiology. PLoS ONE, Public Library of Science, 2015, 10 (3), pp.1-18. ⟨10.1371/journal.pone.0119680⟩. ⟨hal-01155544⟩

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