Note to users. If you're seeing this message, it means that your browser cannot find this page's style/presentation instructions -- or possibly that you are using a browser that does not support current Web standards. Find out more about why this message is appearing, and what you can do to make your experience of our site the best it can be.


Logo for

Development 130 (4): 683-692

Mitochondrial respiration and Ca2+ waves are linked during fertilization and meiosis completion

Rémi Dumollard1,*,{dagger}, Katherine Hammar2, Marshall Porterfield2, Peter J. Smith2, Christian Cibert3, Christian Rouvière1, and Christian Sardet1

1 BioMarCell, Unité de Biologie du Développement UMR 7009 CNRS/Paris VI, Observatoire, Station Zoologique, Villefranche sur Mer, 06230 France
2 National Vibrating Probe Facility, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA 02543-1015, USA
3 Laboratoire de Biologie du Développement, Institut Jacques Monod, CNRS, Universités Paris 6 et Paris 7, 2, place Jussieu, F-75251 Paris, France
* Present address: Department of Physiology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK

{dagger} Author for correspondence (e-mail: r.dumollard{at}

Accepted for publication 15 November 2002.

Abstract: Fertilization increases both cytosolic Ca2+ concentration and oxygen consumption in the egg but the relationship between these two phenomena remains largely obscure. We have measured mitochondrial oxygen consumption and the mitochondrial NADH concentration on single ascidian eggs and found that they increase in phase with each series of meiotic Ca2+ waves emitted by two pacemakers (PM1 and PM2). Oxygen consumption also increases in response to Ins(1,4,5)P3-induced Ca2+ transients. Using mitochondrial inhibitors we show that active mitochondria sequester cytosolic Ca2+ during sperm-triggered Ca2+ waves and that they are strictly necessary for triggering and sustaining the activity of the meiotic Ca2+ wave pacemaker PM2. Strikingly, the activity of the Ca2+ wave pacemaker PM2 can be restored or stimulated by flash photolysis of caged ATP. Taken together our observations provide the first evidence that, in addition to buffering cytosolic Ca2+, the egg's mitochondria are stimulated by Ins(1,4,5)P3-mediated Ca2+ signals. In turn, mitochondrial ATP production is required to sustain the activity of the meiotic Ca2+ wave pacemaker PM2.

Key Words: Fertilization • Respiration • Ca2+ waves • Mitochondria • Endoplasmic reticulum • ATP • Ca2+ wave pacemakers • Ascidian

Effect of Epidermal Growth Factor-Like Peptides on the Metabolism of In Vitro- Matured Mouse Oocytes and Cumulus Cells.
D. Richani, M. L. Sutton-McDowall, L. A. Frank, R. B. Gilchrist, and J. G. Thompson (2014)
Biol Reprod 90, 49
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Biased inheritance of mitochondria during asymmetric cell division in the mouse oocyte.
C. M. Dalton and J. Carroll (2013)
J. Cell Sci. 126, 2955-2964
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Reactive oxygen species production and redox state in parthenogenetic and sperm-mediated bovine oocyte activation.
S. Morado, P. Cetica, M. Beconi, J. G. Thompson, and G. Dalvit (2013)
Reproduction 145, 471-478
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Metabolic Differences in Bovine Cumulus-Oocyte Complexes Matured In Vitro in the Presence or Absence of Follicle-Stimulating Hormone and Bone Morphogenetic Protein 15.
M. L. Sutton-McDowall, D. G. Mottershead, D. K. Gardner, R. B. Gilchrist, and J. G. Thompson (2012)
Biol Reprod 87, 87
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Oxygen consumption and ROS production are increased at the time of fertilization and cell cleavage in bovine zygotes.
A. S. Lopes, M. Lane, and J. G. Thompson (2010)
Hum. Reprod. 25, 2762-2773
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Mitochondrial functionality in reproduction: from gonads and gametes to embryos and embryonic stem cells.
J. Ramalho-Santos, S. Varum, S. Amaral, P. C. Mota, A. P. Sousa, and A. Amaral (2009)
Hum. Reprod. Update 15, 553-572
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Regulation of mitochondrial polarity in mouse and human oocytes: the influence of cumulus derived nitric oxide.
J. Van Blerkom, P. Davis, and V. Thalhammer (2008)
Mol. Hum. Reprod. 14, 431-444
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Mitochondrial signaling and fertilization.
J. Van Blerkom and P. Davis (2007)
Mol. Hum. Reprod. 13, 759-770
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Regulation of redox metabolism in the mouse oocyte and embryo.
R. Dumollard, Z. Ward, J. Carroll, and M. R. Duchen (2007)
Development 134, 455-465
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Differential Gel Electrophoresis and Transgenic Mitochondrial Calcium Reporters Demonstrate Spatiotemporal Filtering in Calcium Control of Mitochondria.
S. Terhzaz, T. D. Southall, K. S. Lilley, L. Kean, A. K. Allan, S. A. Davies, and J. A. T. Dow (2006)
J. Biol. Chem. 281, 18849-18858
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Transmission of mitochondrial DNA following assisted reproduction and nuclear transfer.
E.C. Spikings, J. Alderson, and J.C.St. John (2006)
Hum. Reprod. Update 12, 401-415
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Regulatory roles for mitochondria in the peri-implantation mouse blastocyst: possible origins and developmental significance of differential {Delta}{Psi}m..
J. Van Blerkom, H. Cox, and P. Davis (2006)
Reproduction 131, 961-976
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Mitochondria directly influence fertilisation outcome in the pig.
S. H El Shourbagy, E. C Spikings, M. Freitas, and J. C St John (2006)
Reproduction 131, 233-245
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Calcium at Fertilization and in Early Development.
M. Whitaker (2006)
Physiol Rev 86, 25-88
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Polarity of the ascidian egg cortex and relocalization of cER and mRNAs in the early embryo.
F. Prodon, P. Dru, F. Roegiers, and C. Sardet (2005)
J. Cell Sci. 118, 2393-2404
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Aged Mouse Oocytes Fail to Readjust Intracellular Adenosine Triphosphates at Fertilization.
H. Igarashi, T. Takahashi, E. Takahashi, N. Tezuka, K. Nakahara, K. Takahashi, and H. Kurachi (2005)
Biol Reprod 72, 1256-1261
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Mitochondria in human oogenesis and preimplantation embryogenesis: engines of metabolism, ionic regulation and developmental competence.
J. Van Blerkom (2004)
Reproduction 128, 269-280
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Cryopreservation of metaphase II human oocytes effects mitochondrial membrane potential: implications for developmental competence.
A. Jones, J. Van Blerkom, P. Davis, and A. A. Toledo (2004)
Hum. Reprod. 19, 1861-1866
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »
Sperm-triggered [Ca2+] oscillations and Ca2+ homeostasis in the mouse egg have an absolute requirement for mitochondrial ATP production.
R. Dumollard, P. Marangos, G. Fitzharris, K. Swann, M. Duchen, and J. Carroll (2004)
Development 131, 3057-3067
   Abstract »    Full Text »    PDF »

To Advertise     Find Products

Science Signaling. ISSN 1937-9145 (online), 1945-0877 (print). Pre-2008: Science's STKE. ISSN 1525-8882