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During maturation, oocytes must undergo a process of nuclear disassembly, or "germinal vesicle breakdown" (GVBD), that is regulated by signaling pathways involving cyclic AMP (cAMP). In vertebrate and starfish oocytes, cAMP elevation typically prevents GVBD. Alternatively, increased concentrations of intra-oocytic cAMP trigger, rather than inhibit, GVBD in several groups of marine invertebrates. To integrate what is known about the stimulation of GVBD by intra-oocytic cAMP, this article reviews published data for ascidian, bivalve, brittle star, jellyfish, and nemertean oocytes. The bulk of the review concentrates on the three most intensively analyzed groups known to display cAMP-induced GVBD-nemerteans, ascidians, and jellyfish. In addition, this synopsis also presents some previously unpublished findings regarding the stimulatory effects of intra-oocytic cAMP on GVBD in jellyfish and the annelid worm Pseudopotamilla occelata. Finally, factors that may account for the currently known distribution of cAMP-induced GVBD across animal groups are discussed. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Ryusaku Deguchi, Noriyo Takeda, Stephen A Stricker. Comparative biology of cAMP-induced germinal vesicle breakdown in marine invertebrate oocytes. Molecular reproduction and development. 2011 Oct-Nov;78(10-11):708-25

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PMID: 21774023

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