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Simultaneous measurement of intracellular nitric oxide and free calcium levels in chordate eggs demonstrates that nitric oxide has no role at fertilization

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Louise Hyslop, Dr Victoria Nixon, Professor Keith Jones


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At fertilization in sea urchin, the free radical nitric oxide (NO) has recently been suggested to cause the intracellular Ca2+ rise responsible for egg activation. The authors suggested that NO could be a universal activator of eggs and the present study was set up to test this hypothesis. Intracellular NO and Ca2+ levels were monitored simultaneously in eggs of the mouse or the urochordate ascidian Ascidiella aspersa. Eggs were either fertilized or sperm extracts microinjected. Sperm-induced Ca2+ rises were not associated with any global, or local, change in intracellular NO, although we were able to detect NO produced by the addition of a NO donor. Furthermore, the NO synthase inhibitor NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester had no effect on sperm-induced Ca2+ release but did block completely ionomycin-induced NO synthase activation. Therefore, we suggest that the current data provide evidence that NO has no role in the fertilization of these two chordate eggs. © 2001 Academic Press.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hyslop LA, Carroll M, Nixon VL, McDougall A, Jones KT

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Developmental Biology

Year: 2001

Volume: 234

Issue: 1

Pages: 216-230

ISSN (print): 0012-1606

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1006/dbio.2001.0252

PubMed id: 11356031


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