The roles of arachidonic acid (AA) and protein kinase C (PKC) during in vitro maturation-inducing hormone (MIH)-dependent meiotic resumption (maturation) and ovulation were studied in ovarian follicles of Atlantic croaker (Micropogonias undulatus). The requirement for cyclooxygenase (COX) metabolites of AA was examined using a nonspecific COX inhibitor, indomethacin (IM), as well as two COX products, prostaglandin (PG) F2α and PGE2, whereas the role of lipoxygenase (LOX) was investigated using a specific LOX inhibitor, nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA). The involvement of PKC was examined using phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA), a PKC activator, as well as GF109203X (GF), a specific inhibitor of PKC and 1-(5-isoquinolinesulfonyl)-2-methylpiperazine (H7), nonspecific inhibitor of protein kinases. Genomic mechanisms were examined with the transcription-inhibitor actinomycin D (ActD) and the functionality of heterologous (oocyte-granulosa) gap junctions (GJ) with a dye transfer assay. The AA (100 μM) and PGF2α (5 μM) did not induce maturation, and NDGA (10 μM) did not affect MIH-dependent maturation. However, IM (100 μM) partially inhibited MIH-dependent maturation. Conversely, AA and both PGs induced, and IM and NDGA inhibited, MIH-dependent ovulation in matured follicles. The PMA (1 μg/ml) did not induce maturation but caused ovulation in matured follicles, whereas PKC inhibitors (GF, 5 μM; H7, 50 μM) did not affect MIH-dependent maturation but inhibited MIH- and PMA-dependent ovulation. The PMA-dependent ovulation was inhibited by IM but not by NDGA. In addition, ActD (5 μM) blocked MIH-dependent, but not PMA-dependent, ovulation, and PGF2α restored MIH-dependent ovulation in ActD-blocked follicles. The AA and PGs did not induce, and GF did not inhibit, MIH-dependent heterologous GJ uncoupling. In conclusion, AA and PKC mediate MIH-dependent ovulation but not meiotic resumption or heterologous GJ uncoupling in croaker follicles, but a permissive role of COX products of AA during maturation is possible. A novel model of MIH-dependent ovulation is proposed in which 1) LOX and COX metabolites of AA are both required for ovulation, but at upstream and downstream sites of the pathway, respectively, relative to PKC, and 2) PKC is downstream of genomic activation.
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