In Xenopus laevis oocytes, activation of angiotensin II (AII) receptors on the surrounding follicular cells sends a signal through gap junctions to elevate cytoplasmic calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) within the oocyte. The two major candidates for signal transfer through gap junctions into the oocyte during AII receptor stimulation are Ins(1,4,5)P3 and Ca2+. In [3H]inositol-injected follicular oocytes, AII stimulated two- to fourfold increases in phosphoinositide hydrolysis and production of inositol phosphates. Injection of the glycosaminoglycan, heparin, which selectively blocks Ins(1,4,5)P3 receptors, prevented both AII-stimulated and Ins(1,4,5)P3-induced Ca2+ mobilization in Xenopus follicular oocytes but did not affect mobilization of Ca2+ by ionomycin or GTP. These results indicate that the AII-regulated process of gap junction communication between follicular cells and the oocyte operates through an Ins(1,4,5)P3-dependent mechanism rather than through transfer of Ca2+ into the ooplasm and subsequent Ca(2+)-induced Ca2+ release.

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