Doxorubicin-induced apoptosis in germinal vesicle (GV) oocytes

Hadas Bar-Joseph, Irit Ben-Aharon, Shulamith Rizel, Salomon M. Stemmer, Moran Tzabari, Ruth Shalgi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ovarian failure is a-known side-effect observed in women treated for cancer. Doxorubicin (DXR) was found to be detrimental to MII mouse oocytes. We aimed at characterizing the effect of DXR on germinal vesicle (GV) oocytes that comprise the majority of oocytes within ovaries encountering chemotherapy. Mouse follicles and oocytes were exposed to DXR in vitro. DXR localization and its possible cellular targets were examined by fluorescence confocal microscopy. We demonstrated that DXR crosses the blood-follicle barrier and accumulates in oocytes and granulosa cells. The mechanism of DXR-induced apoptosis involves chromosomal disintegration, activation of the mitochondria followed by activation of PERK and caspase-12 and inactivation of PARP. The follicular GV oocytes were more vulnerable to the toxic effect of DXR than ovulated MII oocytes. We suggest that DXR elicits apoptotic signal within GV oocytes that involves activation of the mitochondria, induction of ER-stress and a possible increase in intracellular calcium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-572
Number of pages7
JournalReproductive Toxicology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Apoptosis
  • Caspase-12
  • Doxorubicin
  • Follicle
  • Mitochondria


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