[Frontiers in Bioscience 6, d53-64, January 1, 2001]

DEVELOPMENTAL HISTORY OF THE MAMMALIAN OOCYTE: INSIGHT FROM MOUSE MUTATIONS

Alan Rawls, Robert W. McGaughey, and Jeanne Wilson-Rawls

Department of Biology, Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Program, Arizona State University

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. Abstract
2. Introduction
3. Development of Oocytes from Primordial Germ Cells
3.1. Migration of Primordial Germ Cells
3.2. Attrition of the Oogonia
3.3. Other Genes Required for the Survival of PGCs
4. Initiation of Early Follicle Development and Oocyte Growth
4.1. Kit-Kit Ligand signaling
4.2. Growth and Differentiation Factor 9
4.3. Growth and Differentiation Factor 9 b/Bone Morphogenetic Factor 15
5. Establishing Direct Communication Between the Oocyte and Cumulus Granulosa Cells
5.1. Zona Pelucida
5.2. Gap Junctions
6. Regulators of Oocyte Maturation
6.1. Cyclin B1 and B2
6.2. Mos
6.3. Prostaglandin signaling pathway
7. Perspective
8. References

1. ABSTRACT

Growth and differentiation of the mammalian oocyte is regulated with the coordinate development of the granulosa cells. The complex signaling pathways that regulate the growth and development of mammalian oocytes are beginning to be elucidated through the use of gene targeting. These technologies have provided new insight into the roles of specific genes during the development of the germ cells and gonads, as well as post-pubertal development of oocytes. In many cases, these studies have resulted in a new understanding of the function of certain genes, in others they have provided new genes and pathways to be studied in mammalian reproductive biology. Ultimately, these studies will shed light on human genetic disease and infertility.