Fertilization events induced by neurotransmitters after injection of mRNA in Xenopus eggs

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Science  22 Jul 1988:
Vol. 241, Issue 4864, pp. 464-467
DOI: 10.1126/science.3134693


Fertilization initiates in the egg a dramatic increase in intracellular calcium that opens ion channels and causes exocytosis. To explore the possibility that these events might involve a receptor-mediated pathway, receptors for serotonin or acetylcholine (M1 muscarinic) were expressed in the Xenopus egg; serotonin or acetylcholine then could initiate a series of responses similar to those normally initiated by sperm. Thus, there may be an endogenous receptor in the egg membrane that is activated by sperm, and the serotonin or M1 muscarinic receptor may replace the sperm receptor in this pathway.