Potential role for the sorbitol pathway in the meiotic dysfunction exhibited by oocytes from diabetic mice.
J Exp Zool A Comp Exp Biol. 2004 May 1;301(5):439-48. PMID: 15114651
Department of Biological Sciences, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201-1881, USA.
Complications common to type I diabetes, such as cataracts and cardiovascular disorders, have been associated with activation of the polyol pathway, which converts glucose to fructose via the intermediate, sorbitol. Under normal glycemic conditions, glucose is typically targeted for glycolysis or the pentose phosphate pathway through phosphorylation by hexokinase. When glucose levels are elevated under diabetic conditions, hexokinase becomes saturated, and the excess glucose is then shunted to aldose reductase, which converts glucose to sorbitol. In the present study, we examined the potential effects of this pathway on the maturation process in mouse oocytes. Increasing concentrations of sorbitol suppressed FSH-induced maturation in oocytes from control mice. Culturing oocytes from diabetic mice in the presence of inhibitors of aldose reductase reversed the suppression of FSH-induced meiotic maturation. When oocytes from control mice were cultured with activators of aldose reductase, FSH-induced maturation was compromised. In addition, treatment with sorbitol or activators of the polyol pathway led to reduced cell-cell communication between the oocyte and the cumulus cells, as well as compromised FSH-mediated cAMP production and de novo purine synthesis. These data indicate that the suppression of FSH-induced meiotic maturation observed in oocytes from diabetic mice may result from a shunting of glucose through the polyol pathway.