When isolated at full receptivity, in vitro fertilized wheat (Triticum aestivum, L.) egg cells reveal [Ca2+]cyt oscillation of intracellular origin

Zsolt Pónya, Ilaria Corsi, Richárd Hoffmann, Melinda Kovács, Anikó Dobosy, Attila Zoltán Kovács, Mauro Cresti, Beáta Barnabás

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During in vitro fertilization of wheat (Triticum aestivum, L.) in egg cells isolated at various developmental stages, changes in cytosolic free calcium ([Ca2+]cyt) were observed. The dynamics of [Ca2+]cyt elevation varied, reflecting the difference in the developmental stage of the eggs used. [Ca2+]cyt oscillation was exclusively observed in fertile, mature egg cells fused with the sperm cell. To determine how [Ca2+]cyt oscillation in mature egg cells is generated, egg cells were incubated in thapsigargin, which proved to be a specific inhibitor of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) Ca2+-ATPase in wheat egg cells. In unfertilized egg cells, the addition of thapsigargin caused an abrupt transient increase in [Ca2+]cyt in the absence of extracellular Ca2+, suggesting that an influx pathway for Ca2+ is activated by thapsigargin. The [Ca2+]cyt oscillation seemed to require the filling of an intracellular calcium store for the onset of which, calcium influx through the plasma membrane appeared essential. This was demonstrated by omitting extracellular calcium from (or adding GdCl3 to) the fusion medium, which prevented [Ca2+]cyt oscillation in mature egg cells fused with the sperm. Combined, these data permit the hypothesis that the first sperm-induced transient increase in [Ca2+]cyt depletes an intracellular Ca2+ store, triggering an increase in plasma membrane Ca2+ permeability, and this enhanced Ca2+ influx results in [Ca2+]cyt oscillation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23766-23791
Number of pages26
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 19 2014



  • Cytosolic calcium
  • Egg activation
  • Endoplasmic reticulum
  • In vitro fertilization
  • Intracellular Ca store
  • Thapsigargin
  • Wheat (Triticum aestivum, L.) egg cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

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