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

Extracellular Mg2+ induces an intracellular Ca2+ wave during oocyte activation in the marine shrimp Sicyonia ingentis.

In contrast to most systems in which oocyte activation is triggered by the fertilizing sperm, Sicyonia ingentis oocytes are activated by seawater Mg2+ during spawning. S. ingentis oocytes were spawned into Mg(2+)-free seawater and microinjected with the fluorescent Ca2+ indicator Fluo-3 to study the effects of added Mg2+ on intracellular Ca2+ levels. The Mg2+ induced a wave of fluorescence across the oocyte that traveled at a speed of 13 +/- 3 microns/sec. Extracellular Ca2+ was not required for induction of the wave. Treatment with Ca2+ ionophore in Mg(2+)-free medium or a localized injection (0.3% oocyte volume) of 3-5 microM Ca2+ also initiated the wave; injection of 250 mM Mg2+ (up to 1.5% oocyte volume) had no effect. Microinjection of 750 microM EGTA (final) suppressed the Mg(2+)-induced wave, while an identical concentration of EDTA had no inhibitory effect. Subsequent to the initial Mg(2+)-induced intracellular Ca2+ increase, a second Ca2+ increase was observed at approximately 15 min postspawning; the timing of this second increase appeared to be independent of when the Mg(2+)-induced wave was initiated, thus an event associated with spawning may be involved. While oocytes in normal seawater were monospermic, those in Mg(2+)-free seawater were polyspermic, suggesting a role for the Mg(2+)-induced Ca2+ wave in regulating sperm entry into the oocyte.[1]


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