Calcium oscillations, oocyte activation, and phospholipase C zeta

Junaid Kashir, Celine Jones, Kevin Coward

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

26 Scopus citations


In mammals, gamete fusion initiates a succession of oscillations in the intracellular concentration of calcium within the oocyte, prompting a series of events to occur that are collectively known as "oocyte activation". Such events are a fundamental necessity for the initiation of cell division and subsequent embryogenesis. Compelling evidence now indicates that these calcium oscillations are caused by a testis-specific phospholipase C (PLC) termed PLCzeta (PLCζ), released into the oocyte following gamete fusion. A series of recent studies indicate that abnormal expression or aberrant activity of PLCζ is linked to certain types of human male infertility, where oocyte activation ability is impaired or absent altogether. In this chapter, we discuss the critical role of calcium oscillations in the process of oocyte activation, review the role of PLCs in this fundamental biological reaction, describe how PLCζ has been formally linked to male infertility, and postulate the potential roles for PLCζ in terms of clinical diagnosis and therapy.

Original languageBritish English
Title of host publicationCalcium Signaling
Number of pages27
StatePublished - 2012

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598


  • Assisted oocyte activation (AOA)
  • Assisted reproductive technology (ART)
  • Calcium
  • Fertilisation
  • Infertility
  • Oocyte
  • Oocyte activation
  • Phospholipase C (PLC)
  • Phospholipase C zeta (PLCzeta)
  • Sperm


Dive into the research topics of 'Calcium oscillations, oocyte activation, and phospholipase C zeta'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this