Luteinizing hormone (LH) mediates many important processes in ovarian follicles, including cumulus cell expansion, changes in gap junction expression and activity, sterol and steroid production, and the release of paracrine signaling molecules. All of these functions work together to trigger oocyte maturation (meiotic progression) and subsequent ovulation. Many laboratories are interested in better understanding both the extra-oocyte follicular processes that trigger oocyte maturation, as well as the intra-oocyte molecules and signals that regulate meiosis. Multiple model systems have been used to study LH-effects in the ovary, including fish, frogs, mice, rats, pigs, and primates. Here we provide a brief summary of oocyte maturation, focusing primarily on steroid-triggered meiotic progression in frogs and mice. Furthermore, we present new studies that implicate classical steroid receptors rather than alternative non-classical membrane steroid receptors as the primary regulators of steroid-mediated oocyte maturation in both of these model systems.
Keywords: oocyte, maturation, steroid, nongenomic, testosterone, G protein