Effects of defolliculation on membrane current responses of Xenopus oocytes

J Physiol. 1989 Sep;416:601-21. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1989.sp017780.


1. Catecholamines, adenosine, gonadotrophins, vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and E-series prostaglandins all elicit K+ currents in follicle-enclosed Xenopus oocytes. Evidence suggests that cyclic nucleotides act as intracellular messengers in the activation of this K+ conductance. Muscarinic agonists and some divalent cations (e.g. Co2+, Mn2+, Ni2+ and Cd2+) elicit slow oscillatory Cl- currents, which are activated through hydrolysis of inositol phospholipids and mobilization of intracellular calcium by inositol phosphates. 2. We investigated whether these membrane current responses were generated in the oocyte itself or in enveloping follicular cells which are coupled to the oocyte by gap junctions. Oocytes were defolliculated, either enzymatically using collagenase, or by manual dissection combined with rolling over poly-L-lysine-coated slides. Removal of follicular cells was checked using scanning electron microscopy. Membrane current responses of defolliculated oocytes were compared with responses seen in follicle-enclosed oocytes taken from the same ovary. 3. The K+ responses evoked by all the various hormones/neurotransmitters were either drastically reduced (greater than 90%) or abolished by defolliculation. K+ currents generated by the adenylate cyclase activator forskolin and by intraoocyte injection of adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cyclic AMP), or guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate were similarly reduced in defolliculated oocytes. In contrast, oscillatory Cl- currents to acetylcholine and divalent cations were selectively preserved through defolliculation. 4. Injection of cyclic AMP (1-20 pmol) into defolliculated oocytes had little or no effect on oscillatory Cl- currents elicited by ACh. However, the calcium-dependent transient Cl- current, activated by depolarization of the oocyte membrane, was consistently potentiated (100-900%) by injections of cyclic AMP (1-10 pmol). 5. These experiments suggest that cyclic nucleotide-activated K+ currents arise essentially in follicular cells and are monitored within the oocyte through electrical coupling by gap junctions. Oscillatory Cl- responses evoked by ACh and divalent cations are produced largely or wholly in the oocyte itself.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / pharmacology
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Cell Separation
  • Colforsin / pharmacology
  • Cyclic AMP / pharmacology
  • Cyclic GMP / pharmacology
  • Dinoprostone / pharmacology
  • Dopamine / pharmacology
  • Female
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Membrane Potentials / drug effects
  • Microbial Collagenase
  • Norepinephrine / pharmacology
  • Oocytes / physiology*
  • Ovarian Follicle / physiology
  • Potassium Channels / physiology
  • Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide / pharmacology
  • Xenopus laevis


  • Potassium Channels
  • Colforsin
  • Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Cyclic AMP
  • Microbial Collagenase
  • Cyclic GMP
  • Adenosine
  • Dinoprostone
  • Dopamine
  • Norepinephrine