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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Antioxidants reversibly inhibit the spontaneous resumption of meiosis.

We previously showed that the cell-permeant antioxidant 2(3)-tert-butyl-4-hydroxyanisole (BHA) inhibited germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) in oocyte-cumulus complexes (OCC) of the rat. The objective of the present studies was to assess other antioxidants and whether such inhibition was reversible. Spontaneous GVBD in OCC incubated for 2 h was significantly inhibited (P < 0.005) by nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NDGA; GVBD = 19.4%), BHA (GVBD = 25.7%), octyl gallate (OG; GVBD = 52.2%), ethoxyquin (EQ; GVBD = 58.8%), 2, 6-di-tert-butyl-hydroxymethyl phenol (TBHMP; GVBD = 59%), butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT; GVBD = 59.5%), and tert-butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP; GVBD = 60.0%). Other antioxidants that produced lower but significant (P < 0.05) inhibition of oocyte maturation included propyl gallate (PG; GVBD = 70.3%), 2,4,5-trihydroxybutrophenone (THBP; GVBD = 71.4%), and lauryl gallate (LG; GVBD = 71.4%). Antioxidants that had no effect on oocyte maturation at the same concentration (100 microM) included ascorbic acid, vitamin E, and Trolox. Inhibition of GVBD was evident for up to 8 h of incubation of OCC and denuded oocytes (DO) with BHA or NDGA and was reversed by washing. NDGA was less potent than BHA for inhibition of GVBD in DO, unlike that seen with OCC. Oocyte maturation was induced by incubation of follicles for 3 h with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), and this response was inhibited by BHA or NDGA. These findings support the conclusion that cell-permeant antioxidants inhibit spontaneous resumption of meiosis, which may implicate a role of oxygen radicals in oocyte maturation.[1]


  1. Antioxidants reversibly inhibit the spontaneous resumption of meiosis. Takami, M., Preston, S.L., Toyloy, V.A., Behrman, H.R. Am. J. Physiol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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