The parthenogenetic activation of mouse oocytes by several agents is accompanied by a large rise in the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i)1. The tumour-promoting phorbol ester 12-O-tetradecanoyl phorbol acetate (TPA) activates some cellular processes which are also activated by raised [Ca2+] (ref. 2). We therefore tested TPA on mouse oocytes and found it to be a potent parthenogenetic activating agent. Recent reports suggest that TPA mimics endogenous diacylglycerol3 and can stimulate cells by activating protein kinase C without raising [Ca2+]i (refs 4, 5). We have now measured [Ca2+]i with aequorin in mouse oocytes treated with TPA. Sustained oscillations in [Ca2+]i appeared in those oocytes which were subsequently activated. We also measured [Ca2+]i during fertilization. The response began with [Ca2+]i transients as reported previously3, but the transients continued in a regular pattern for 4 h. There was no rise in [Ca2+]i of the type induced by activating agents such as ethanol. One component of the fertilization response appears to be related to the TPA-induced oscillations.
Subscribe to Journal
Get full journal access for 1 year
only $3.83 per issue
All prices are NET prices.
VAT will be added later in the checkout.
Rent or Buy article
Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.
All prices are NET prices.
Cuthbertson, K. S. R., Whittingham, D. G. & Cobbold, P. H. Nature 294, 754–757 (1981).
Durham, A. C. H. & Walton, J. M. Biosci. Rep. 2, 15–30 (1982).
Nishizuka, Y. Nature 308, 693–697 (1984).
Rink, T. J., Sanchez, A. & Hallam, T. J. Nature 305, 317–319 (1983).
Sha'afi, R. I. et al. Biochem. biophys. Res. Commun. 114, 638–645 (1983).
Cuthbertson, K. S. R. & Cobbold, P. Eur. J. Cell Biol. Suppl. 1, 14 (1983).
Whittingham, D. G. in Oxford Reviews in Reproductive Biology Vol. 2 (ed. Finn, C. A.) 205–231 (Oxford University Press, (1980).
Jafie, L. A., Sharp, A. P. & Wolf, D. P. Devl Biol. 96, 317–323 (1983).
Miyazaki, S. & Igusa, Y. Proc. natn. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 79, 931–935 (1982).
McCulloh, D. H., Rexroad, C. E. & Levitan, H. Devl Biol. 95, 372–377 (1983).
Cuthbertson, K. S. R. J. exp. Zool. 226, 311–314 (1983).
Cobbold, P. H., Cuthbertson, K. S. R., Goyns, M. & Rice, V. J. Cell Sci. 61, 123–136 (1983).
About this article
Cite this article
Cuthbertson, K., Cobbold, P. Phorbol ester and sperm activate mouse oocytes by inducing sustained oscillations in cell Ca2+. Nature 316, 541–542 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1038/316541a0
Calcium Oscillatory Behavior and Its Possible Role during Wound Healing in Bovine Corneal Endothelial Cells in Culture
BioMed Research International (2019)
International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2019)
FRET-based sensor for CaMKII activity (FRESCA): A useful tool for assessing CaMKII activity in response to Ca2+ oscillations in live cells
Journal of Biological Chemistry (2019)
Cellular stress and AMPK activation as a common mechanism of action linking the effects of metformin and diverse compounds that alleviate accelerated aging defects in Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome
Medical Hypotheses (2018)