ANAT2341 Lab 2

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Week 1 to 3 Development

ANAT2341 Lab 2: Introduction | Fertilization | Week 1 | Week 2 | Online Assessment | Group Project

Oocyte Biology Research Unit

Oocyte BMP15 and GDF9 effects PMID 25058588
Associate Professor Robert Gilchrist
Talk - The Reproductive Technology Revolution
Rob Gilchrist.jpg

Dr Gilchrist’s primary research interests are in the regulation of mammalian oocyte development and maturation, and the development of novel oocyte maturation techniques for infertility treatment.

UNSW Research Gateway - PubMed

Recent Articles


"The cyclic nucleotides, cAMP and cGMP, are the key molecules controlling mammalian oocyte meiosis. Their roles in oocyte biology have been at the forefront of oocyte research for decades and many of the long standing controversies in relation to the regulation of oocyte meiotic maturation are now resolved. It is now clear that the follicle prevents meiotic resumption through the actions of natriuretic peptides and cGMP inhibiting the hydrolysis of intra-oocyte cAMP and that the preovulatory gonadotrophin surge reverses these processes. The gonadotrophin surge also leads to a transient spike in cAMP in the somatic compartment of the follicle; research over the past 2 decades has conclusively demonstrated that this surge in cAMP is important for the subsequent developmental capacity of the oocyte. This is important, as oocyte in vitro maturation (IVM) systems practiced clinically do not recapitulate this cAMP surge in vitro, possibly accounting for the lower efficiency of IVM compared to clinical IVF. This review focuses in particular on this latter aspect - the role of cAMP/cGMP in the regulation of oocyte quality. We conclude that clinical practice of IVM should reflect this new understanding of the role of cyclic nucleotides, thereby creating a new generation of ART and fertility treatment options."

<pubmed>27248769</pubmed> <pubmed>27160446</pubmed>

"Growth differentiation factor 9 (GDF9) and bone morphogenetic protein 15 (BMP15) are oocyte-specific growth factors with central roles in mammalian reproduction, regulating species-specific fecundity, ovarian follicular somatic cell differentiation and oocyte quality. In the human, GDF9 is produced in a latent form, the mechanism of activation being an open question. Here, we produced a range of recombinant GDF9 and BMP15 variants, examined their in silico and physical interactions, and their effects on ovarian granulosa cells (GC) and oocytes. We found that the potent synergistic actions of GDF9 and BMP15 on GC can be attributed to the formation of a heterodimer, which we have termed cumulin. Structural modelling of cumulin revealed a dimerization interface identical to homodimeric GDF9 and BMP15, indicating likely formation of a stable complex. This was confirmed by generation of recombinant heterodimeric complexes of pro/mature domains (pro-cumulin) and covalent mature domains (cumulin). Both pro-cumulin and cumulin exhibited highly potent bioactivity on GC, activating both SMAD2/3 and SMAD1/5/8 signaling pathways, and promoting proliferation and expression of a set of genes associated with oocyte-regulated GC differentiation. Cumulin was more potent than pro-cumulin, pro-GDF9, pro-BMP15 or the two combined on GC. However, on cumulus-oocyte complexes, pro-cumulin was more effective than all other growth factors at notably improving oocyte quality as assessed by subsequent day 7 embryo development. Our results support a model of activation for human GDF9 dependant on cumulin formation through heterodimerization with BMP15. Oocyte-secreted cumulin is likely to be a central regulator of fertility in mono-ovular mammals."
Links: Developmental Signals - TGF-beta


Mark Hill (talk) 10:59, 11 August 2016 (AEST) The following remainder of the class on fertilisation may be worked through independently online. I will also be introducing the Group Project after the guest researcher presentation.

  1. Identify the key features of fertilization.
  2. Identify the key features of week 1 development.
  3. Identify the key features of week 2 development.
  4. Complete the individual assessment 2.
  5. Group assessment project.

Fertilization Reviews

  1. Review of sperm penetration through cumulus mass and zona pellucida
  2. Review of sperm-egg interaction
  3. Review of parthenogenesis

Human development timeline

Human development timeline graph 01.jpg

ANAT2341 Lab 2: Introduction | Fertilization | Week 1 | Week 2 | Online Assessment | Group Project

ANAT2341 Course Timetable  
Week (Mon) Lecture 1 (Mon 1-2pm) Lecture 2 (Tue 3-4pm) Practical (Fri 1-3pm)
Week 2 (1 Aug) Introduction Fertilization Lab 1
Week 3 (8 Aug) Week 1 and 2 Week 3 Lab 2
Week 4 (15 Aug) Mesoderm Ectoderm Lab 3
Week 5 (22 Aug) Early Vascular Placenta Lab 4
Week 6 (29 Aug) Gastrointestinal Respiratory Lab 5
Week 7 (5 Sep) Head Neural Crest Lab 6
Week 8 (12 Sep) Musculoskeletal Limb Development Lab 7
Week 9 (19 Sep) Renal Genital Lab 8
Mid-semester break
Week 10 (3 Oct) Public Holiday Stem Cells Lab 9
Week 11 (10 Oct) Integumentary Endocrine Lab 10
Week 12 (17 Oct) Heart Sensory Lab 11
Week 13 (24 Oct) Fetal Birth and Revision Lab 12

ANAT2341 2016: Moodle page | ECHO360 | Textbooks | Students 2016 | Projects 2016