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Fertil Steril. 2005 Apr;83 Suppl 1:1169-79.

Studies of gene expression in human cumulus cells indicate pentraxin 3 as a possible marker for oocyte quality.

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Section of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 675 North Saint Clair Street, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.



To search for differentially expressed genes in cumulus cells from two groups of oocytes with different developmental outcome in vitro.


Analyses of gene expression in human cumulus cells from oocytes that failed to fertilize in vitro (group A) and those that developed into normal-appearing embryos on day 3 (group B).


University-based facilities for clinical service and research.


Women undergoing IVF treatment for infertility.


Cumulus cells were collected from oocytes that were aspirated from ovarian follicles for IVF. The oocytes were cultured individually for IVF and embryo development. Total RNA was extracted from the cumulus cells for gene expression analyses.


General gene expression profiles and relative abundance of pentraxin 3 (Ptx3) mRNA.


DNA microarray analysis identified 160 genes, including Ptx3, that were differentially expressed between cumulus cells in group A and group B. Quantitative analysis confirmed that the relative abundance of Ptx3 mRNA in cumulus cells was highly associated with oocyte development.


This study demonstrated that changes in the expression levels of 160 genes, including particularly Ptx3, in human cumulus cells may be indicative of the quality of their enclosed oocyte.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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