C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) and its cognate receptor, natriuretic peptide receptor (NPR) B, have been shown to promote cGMP production in granulosa/cumulus cells. Once transferred to the oocyte through the gap junctions, the cGMP inhibits oocyte meiotic resumption. CNP has been shown to bind another natriuretic receptor, NPR-C. NPR-C is known to interact with and degrade bound CNP, and has been reported to possess signaling functions. Therefore, NPR-C could participate in the control of oocyte maturation during swine in vitro maturation (IVM). Here, we examine the effect of CNP signaling on meiotic resumption, the amount of cGMP and gap junctional communication (GJC) regulation during swine IVM. The results show an inhibitory effect of CNP in inhibiting oocyte meiotic resumption in follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)-stimulated IVM. We also found that an NPR-C-specific agonist (cANP[4–23]) is likely to play a role in maintaining meiotic arrest during porcine IVM when in the presence of a suboptimal dose of CNP. Moreover, we show that, even if CNP can increase intracellular concentration of cGMP in cumulus-oocyte complexes, cANP(4–23) had no impact on cGMP concentration, suggesting a potential cGMP-independent signaling pathway related to NPR-C activation. These data support a potential involvement of cANP(4–23) through NPR-C in inhibiting oocyte meiotic resumption while in the presence of a suboptimal dose of CNP. The regulation of GJC was not altered by CNP, cANP(4–23), or the combination of CNP and cANP(4–23), supporting their potential contribution in sending signals to the oocytes. These findings offer promising insights in to new elements of the signaling pathways that may be involved in inhibiting resumption of meiosis during FSH-stimulated swine IVM.
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Vol. 91 • No. 1