BACKGROUND Gene expression of cumulus cells (CC) could predict oocyte developmental quality. Knowledge of the genes involved in determining oocyte quality is scanty. The aim was to correlate clinical and biological characteristics during ovarian stimulation with the expression of 10 selected genes in CC. METHODS Sixty-three ICSI patients were stimulated with GnRH-agonist plus highly purified hMG (n = 35) or recombinant FSH (n = 28). Thirteen variables were analyzed: Age, BMI, duration of stimulation, serum concentrations of progesterone, 17beta-estradiol, FSH and LH on day of hCG, Ovarian Response, Oocyte Maturity, 2 pronuclei and three embryo morphology related variables: >/=7 cells, Low Fragmentation, Good Quality Embryos score. Expression of HAS2, VCAN, SDC4, ALCAM, GREM1, PTGS1, PTGS2, DUSP16, SPROUTY4 and RPS6KA2 was analyzed in pooled CC using quantitative PCR, and the relationship to the 13 variables was evaluated by multivariable analysis. RESULTS All 10 genes are expressed at oocyte retrieval, with PTGS1, SPROUTY4, DUSP16 and RPS6KA2 described in human ovary for the first time. The three variables that correlated most often with differential expression were Age, BMI and serum FSH level. Significant correlation was found with Oocyte Maturity (VCAN, P <0.005), Low Fragmentation (RPS6KA2, P <0.05), Embryos with >/=7 cells (ALCAM and GREM1, P <0.05). The expression of the other genes was also correlated to oocyte developmental quality but to a less extent. SDC4, VCAN, GREM1, SPROUTY4 and RPS6KA2 showed gonadotrophin preparation-dependent expression and/or interactions (all P <0.05). CONCLUSION The expression of ovulation related genes in CC is associated with patient and treatment characteristics, oocyte developmental potential and differs with the type of gonadotrophin used.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1259-1270
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Reproduction
Publication statusPublished - 2010

    Research areas

  • cumulus cell, gene expression

ID: 1912479