Mechanisms for postovulatory aging (POA) of oocytes and for spontaneous activation (SA) of rat oocytes are largely unknown. Expression of calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) in rat oocytes and its role in POA remain unexplored. In this study, expression of CaSR in rat oocytes aging for different times was detected by immunofluorescencemicroscopy, and western blotting and the role of CaSR in POA was determined by observing the effects of regulating its activity on SA susceptibility and cytoplasmic calcium levels. The results showed that CaSR was expressed in rat oocytes. Oocytes recovered 19 h post human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) injection were more susceptible to SA and expressed more functional CaSR than oocytes recovered 13 h after hCG injection, although both expressed the same level of total CaSR protein. Treatment with CaSR antagonist significantly suppressed cytoplasmic calcium elevation and SA of oocytes. Activation of Na-Ca2+ exchangerwith NaCl inhibited SA to a greater extent than suppression of CaSR with NPS-2143, suggesting that calcium sources other than CaSR-controlled channels contributed to the elevation of cytoplasmic calcium. Treatment with T- or L-type calcium channel blockers significantly reduced SA. Suppression of all calcium channels tested reduced SA to minimum. It is concluded that the level of CaSR functional dimer protein, but not that of the total CaSR protein, was positively correlated with the SA susceptibility during POA of rat oocytes confirming that CaSR is involved in POA regulation. Blocking multiple calcium channels might be a better choice for efficient control of SA in rat oocytes.
Calcium-sensing receptor is involved in regulating postovulatory aging of oocytes, and blocking multiple calcium channels may be used for efficient control of spontaneous activation in rat oocytes.