Nitric oxide (NO) is reported to play significant a role in oocyte activation and maturation, implantation, and early embryonic development. Previously we have shown that NO forms an important component of the oocyte microenvironment, and functions effectively to delay oocyte aging. Thus, precise information about intra-oocyte NO concentrations [NO] will result in designing more accurate treatment plans in assisted reproduction. In this work, the direct, real-time and quantitative intra-oocyte [NO] was measured utilizing an L-shaped amperometric integrated NO-selective electrode. This method not only provides an elegant and convenient approach to real-time the measurement of NO in physiological environments, but also mimics the loss of NO caused by rapid NO diffusion combined with its reactivity in the biological milieu. This experiment suggests that the NO levels of oocytes obtained from young animals are significantly higher than those of oocytes obtained from old animals. Additionally the NO levels stay constant during the measurements; however, the intraoocyte [NO] is reduced significantly (70-75% reduction) in response to L-NAME incubation, suggesting that NO measurements are truly NOS based rather than caused by an unknown interfering substance in our system. We believe this first demonstration of the direct quantitative measurement of [NO] in situ in an intact cellular complex should be useful in tracking real-time and rapid changes at nanomolar levels. Moreover, this finding confirms and extends our previous work showing that supplementation with NO delays the oocyte aging process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)