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Developmental Biology
Gershon, E., Department of Biological Regulation, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel
Plaks, V., Department of Biological Regulation, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel
Aharon, I., Department of Biological Regulation, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel
Galiani, D., Department of Biological Regulation, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel
Reizel, Y., Department of Biological Regulation, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel
Sela-Abramovich, S., Department of Biological Regulation, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel
Granot, I., In Vitro Fertilization Unit, Department of Ob/Gyn, Kaplan Medical Center, Rehovot, Israel
Winterhager, E., Institute of Anatomy, University Hospital Duisburg, Essen, Germany
Dekel, N., Department of Biological Regulation, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel
Gap junctions, predominately comprising connexin43 (Cx43), mediate cell-to-cell communication within the ovarian follicle. However, the partaking of Cx43 in the formation of the gap junction channels, between the oocyte and the somatic cells, is controversial. We addressed this dispute by crossing females that carry a Cx43 coding region, flanked by loxP recognition sites, with males expressing the Cre recombinase under the control of Zp3 promoter. Oocytes of the resultant Zp3Cre;Gja1lox/lox mice did not express Cx43 and were referred to as Cx43del/del. Unexpectedly, a decrease in Cx43 was observed in cumulus/granulosa cells of some follicles as well. Nevertheless, no histological abnormalities were detected in the ovaries of the Zp3Cre;Gja1lox/lox mice. Furthermore, these mice ovulated normally and developed fully functional corpora lutea. Additionally, the ovarian Cx43del/del oocytes were meiotically arrested and transferred Lucifer yellow to the surrounding cumulus cells. However, mating Zp3Cre;Gja1lox/lox females with wild-type males resulted in a reduced rate of parturition and a substantial decrease in litter size. Further examination revealed that although preimplantation development of Zp3Cre;Gja1lox/+ embryos was normal, the blactocysts exhibited impaired implantation. Our data suggest that total ablation of Cx43 in the oocyte, combined with its decrease in the surrounding somatic cells, allows normal oogenesis and folliculogenesis, ovulation and early embryonic development but severely impairs the implantation capacity of the resulting blactocysts. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Oocyte-directed depletion of connexin43 using the Cre-LoxP system leads to subfertility in female mice
313
Gershon, E., Department of Biological Regulation, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel
Plaks, V., Department of Biological Regulation, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel
Aharon, I., Department of Biological Regulation, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel
Galiani, D., Department of Biological Regulation, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel
Reizel, Y., Department of Biological Regulation, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel
Sela-Abramovich, S., Department of Biological Regulation, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel
Granot, I., In Vitro Fertilization Unit, Department of Ob/Gyn, Kaplan Medical Center, Rehovot, Israel
Winterhager, E., Institute of Anatomy, University Hospital Duisburg, Essen, Germany
Dekel, N., Department of Biological Regulation, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, 76100, Israel
Oocyte-directed depletion of connexin43 using the Cre-LoxP system leads to subfertility in female mice
Gap junctions, predominately comprising connexin43 (Cx43), mediate cell-to-cell communication within the ovarian follicle. However, the partaking of Cx43 in the formation of the gap junction channels, between the oocyte and the somatic cells, is controversial. We addressed this dispute by crossing females that carry a Cx43 coding region, flanked by loxP recognition sites, with males expressing the Cre recombinase under the control of Zp3 promoter. Oocytes of the resultant Zp3Cre;Gja1lox/lox mice did not express Cx43 and were referred to as Cx43del/del. Unexpectedly, a decrease in Cx43 was observed in cumulus/granulosa cells of some follicles as well. Nevertheless, no histological abnormalities were detected in the ovaries of the Zp3Cre;Gja1lox/lox mice. Furthermore, these mice ovulated normally and developed fully functional corpora lutea. Additionally, the ovarian Cx43del/del oocytes were meiotically arrested and transferred Lucifer yellow to the surrounding cumulus cells. However, mating Zp3Cre;Gja1lox/lox females with wild-type males resulted in a reduced rate of parturition and a substantial decrease in litter size. Further examination revealed that although preimplantation development of Zp3Cre;Gja1lox/+ embryos was normal, the blactocysts exhibited impaired implantation. Our data suggest that total ablation of Cx43 in the oocyte, combined with its decrease in the surrounding somatic cells, allows normal oogenesis and folliculogenesis, ovulation and early embryonic development but severely impairs the implantation capacity of the resulting blactocysts. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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