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Domest Anim Endocrinol. 2012 May;42(4):230-8. doi: 10.1016/j.domaniend.2011.12.006. Epub 2012 Jan 10.

Disruption of fibroblast growth factor receptor signaling in bovine cumulus-oocyte complexes during in vitro maturation reduces subsequent embryonic development.

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Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-0910, USA.


Several fibroblast growth factors (FGF) mediate folliculogenesis and oogenesis in cattle but it is unclear whether FGFs are required during the final stages of oocyte maturation. The objectives of this work were to determine whether blocking FGF receptor (FGFR) activity during in vitro maturation (IVM) affects oocyte fertilization and embryo development; examine changes in FGFR transcript profiles in cumulus cells and oocytes during IVM; and evaluate whether gonadotropins modulate FGFR transcript abundance during IVM. In the first set of studies, bovine cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were matured in the presence of one of two FGFR kinase inhibitors (SU5402 or PD173074). After maturation, COCs were washed and cultured without inhibitors. Inhibitors did not affect cleavage rates but the percentage of ≥ 8-cell embryos at d 3 and blastocysts at d 7 and d 8 postfertilization were decreased when COCs were matured with either inhibitor. Profiles of FGFR mRNA variants were examined in cumulus cells and oocytes separated either immediately before (0 h) or at 6 or 21 h after beginning IVM. In cumulus cells, increases in R1b, R2b, and R2c abundance were detected when cultured in the absence of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). Supplementing FSH (1 or 25 μM) increased the abundance of R1b, R1c, R2b, and R2c. In oocytes, no time- or FSH-dependent changes in FGFR transcript abundance were detected. These observations implicate FGFs as crucial components of bovine oocyte competency and indicate that FSH augments FGFR mRNA abundance in cumulus cells during the final stages of oocyte maturation.

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