In preovulatory ovarian follicles of mice, meiotic prophase arrest in the oocyte is maintained by cyclic GMP from the surrounding granulosa cells that diffuses into the oocyte through gap junctions. The cGMP is synthesized in the granulosa cells by the transmembrane guanylyl cyclase natriuretic peptide receptor 2 (NPR2) in response to the agonist C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP). In response to luteinizing hormone (LH), cGMP in the granulosa cells decreases, and as a consequence, oocyte cGMP decreases and meiosis resumes. Here we report that within 20 min, LH treatment results in decreased guanylyl cyclase activity of NPR2, as determined in the presence of a maximally activating concentration of CNP. This occurs by a process that does not reduce the amount of NPR2 protein. We also show that by a slower process, first detected at 2h, LH decreases the amount of CNP available to bind to the receptor. Both of these LH actions contribute to decreasing cGMP in the follicle, thus signaling meiotic resumption in the oocyte.
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