Research Paper Volume 13, Issue 14 pp 18018—18032
GAS6 ameliorates advanced age-associated meiotic defects in mouse oocytes by modulating mitochondrial function
- 1 Department of Biomedical Science, Institute of Reproductive Medicine, College of Life Science, CHA University, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do 13488, Korea
Received: March 2, 2021 Accepted: July 8, 2021 Published: July 26, 2021https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.203328
How to Cite
Copyright: © 2021 Kim et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Previously, we reported that the silencing of growth arrest-specific gene 6 (Gas6) expression in oocytes impairs cytoplasmic maturation by suppressing mitophagy and inducing mitochondrial dysfunction, resulting in fertilization failure. Here, we show that oocyte aging is accompanied by an increase in meiotic defects associated with chromosome misalignment and abnormal spindle organization. Intriguingly, decreased Gas6 mRNA and protein expression were observed in aged oocytes from older females. We further explored the effect of GAS6 on the quality and fertility of aged mouse oocytes using a GAS6 rescue analysis. After treatment with the GAS6 protein, aged oocytes matured normally to the meiosis II (MII) stage. Additionally, maternal age-related meiotic defects were reduced by GAS6 protein microinjection. Restoring GAS6 ameliorated the mitochondrial dysfunction induced by maternal aging. Ultimately, GAS6-rescued MII oocytes exhibited increased ATP levels, reduced ROS levels and elevated glutathione (GSH) levels, collectively indicating improved mitochondrial function in aged oocytes. Thus, the age-associated decrease in oocyte quality was prevented by restoring GAS6. Importantly, GAS6 protein microinjection in aged oocytes also rescued fertility. We conclude that GAS6 improves mitochondrial function to achieve sufficient cytoplasmic maturation and attenuates maternal age-related meiotic errors, thereby efficiently safeguarding oocyte quality and fertility.