Prolonged, repetitive calcium transients in rat oocytes fertilized in vitro and in vivo

Dalit Ben-Yosef*, Yoram Oron, Ruth Shalgi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Zona-free rat oocytes inseminated with capacitated sperm, under conditions that allow polyspermic fertilization, exhibited a rapid, transient elevation of cellular calcium (from 147 ± 10 to 607 ± 55 nM, n = 19, measured by Fura 2 fluorescence ratio imaging) immediately after sperm attachment. This peak was followed by a series of dramatic calcium transients of high amplitude (maximal 847 ± 32 nM) and frequency (range 2.1 ± 0.07-3.9 ± 0.07 min), which continued for several hours. A similar pattern was seen also in zona-free oocytes fertilized with low sperm density (i.e. producing mainly monospermic attachment) and in zona-enclosed oocytes fertilized in vitro. Moreover, single or repetitive calcium transients were observed in rat oocytes fertilized in vivo. These findings indicate that in normal fertilization in vivo, sperm-oocyte interaction initiates a prolonged train of cyclical calcium changes in the oocyte. This activity may be necessary for the early events in the fertilization process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-242
Number of pages4
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - 4 Oct 1993


  • Calcium transient
  • Fertilization, in vitro
  • Fertilization, in vivo
  • Oocyte
  • Rat


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