Cumulus cell (CC) gene expression is being explored as an additional method to morphological scoring to choose the embryo with the highest chance to pregnancy. In 47 ICSI patients with single embryo transfer (SET), from which individual CC samples had been stored, 12 genes using QPCR were retrospectively analyzed. The CC samples were at the same occasion also used to validate a previously obtained pregnancy prediction model comprising three genes (ephrin-B2 (EFNB2), calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase ID, stanniocalcin 1). Latter validation yielded a correct pregnant/non-pregnant classification in 72% of the samples. Subsequently, 9 new genes were analyzed on the same samples and new prediction models were built. Out of the 12 genes analyzed a combination of the best predictive genes was obtained by stepwise multiple regression. One model retained EFNB2 in combination with glutathione S-transferase alpha 3 and 4, progesterone receptor and glutathione peroxidase 3, resulting in 93% correct predictions when 3 patient and treatment cycle characteristics were included into the model. This large patient group allowed to do an intra-patient analysis for 7 patients, an analysis mimicking the methodology that would ultimately be used in clinical routine. CC related to a SET that did not give pregnancy and CC related to their subsequent frozen/thawed embryos which ended in pregnancy were analyzed. The models obtained in the between-patient analysis were used to rank the oocytes within-patients for their chance to pregnancy and resulted in 86% of correct predictions. In conclusion, prediction models built on selected quantified transcripts in CC might help in the decision making process which is currently only based on subjective embryo morphology scoring. The validity of our current models for routine application still need prospective assessment in a larger and more diverse patient population allowing intra-patient analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54226
Number of pages1
JournalPLoS ONE
Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Research areas

  • ICSI, QPCR, oocyte, pregnancy, embryo

ID: 2321513