Expression of cholinesterase genes in human oocytes revealed by in-situ hybridization

H. Soreq*, G. Malinger, H. Zakut

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transcriptional activity of the human cholinesterase genes was examined in developing oocytes from mature ovaries by in-situ hybridization combined with biochemical acetylcholine hydrolysis measurements. High levels of cholinesterase mRNA could be detected in oocytes from primordial, pre-antral and antral follicles but not in atretic follicles, with transient enhaocement at the pre-antral stage. Biochemical analysis of enzymatic activity identified the ovarian enzyme as 'true' acetylcholinesterase by its sensitivity to selective inhibitors. Our findings suggest that cholinergic respooses may function in human oocytes independently of the surrounding follicular cells, and the pronounced synthesis of cholinesterase transcripts in oocytes suggests that the cholinesterase genes in humans are particularly good candidates for the formation and re-insertion of inheritable processed cholinesterase genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-693
Number of pages5
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1987
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
Edith Wolfson Medical Centre
Silbermann Foundation


    • Cholinesterase genes
    • Developing oocytes
    • Transcriptional activity


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