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This study directly tested the hypothesis that the induction of oocyte maturation in the catfish Clarias batrachus is followed by a transient decrease in oocyte cyclic AMP (cAMP) level that is due to an increase in phosphodiesterase (PDE) activity. Further, the PDE inhibitor theophylline was used to investigate the possible role of PDE in the maturation-inducing action of 17alpha,20beta-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one (17alpha,20beta-DP), the physiological maturation-inducing steroid of this catfish species. The results obtained from batches of oocytes taken from the same donor at the same time clearly show a close relationship between dose-dependent induction of germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) and PDE activity with a concomitant decrease in cAMP in the oocytes treated with different concentrations of 17alpha,20beta-DP. In contrast, theophylline prevents GVBD and inhibits PDE activity by promoting cAMP accumulation in oocytes. A time-dependent decrease in PDE activity and an increase in cAMP content with a marked inhibition of GVBD were recorded even in oocytes pre-stimulated with 1 microgram/ml 17alpha,20beta-DP for 6 h and then treated with 1 mM theophylline for various times. These results suggest that cAMP plays a key role in the regulation of oocyte maturation in C. batrachus which may be mediated by PDE activity.


S Haider. Cyclic AMP level and phosphodiesterase activity during 17alpha,20beta-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one induction and theophylline inhibition of oocyte maturation in the catfish, Clarias batrachus. Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & integrative physiology. 2003 Feb;134(2):267-74

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PMID: 12547256

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