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Reprod Sci. 2020 Jan 6. doi: 10.1007/s43032-019-00137-x. [Epub ahead of print]

Luteinizing Hormone Action in Human Oocyte Maturation and Quality: Signaling Pathways, Regulation, and Clinical Impact.

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Boston IVF - The Syracuse Center, 5792 Widewaters Pkwy., Syracuse, NY, 13214, USA.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, SUNY Upstate Medical University, 736 Irving Ave., Syracuse, NY, 13210, USA.
CNY Fertility, 835 Hopkins Rd., Buffalo, NY, 14221, USA.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 119 Belmont St., Worcester, MA, 01655, USA.


The ovarian follicle luteinizing hormone (LH) signaling molecules that regulate oocyte meiotic maturation have recently been identified. The LH signal reduces preovulatory follicle cyclic nucleotide levels which releases oocytes from the first meiotic arrest. In the ovarian follicle, the LH signal reduces cyclic nucleotide levels via the CNP/NPR2 system, the EGF/EGF receptor network, and follicle/oocyte gap junctions. In the oocyte, reduced cyclic nucleotide levels activate the maturation promoting factor (MPF). The activated MPF induces chromosome segregation and completion of the first and second meiotic divisions. The purpose of this paper is to present an overview of the current understanding of human LH signaling regulation of oocyte meiotic maturation by identifying and integrating the human studies on this topic. We found 89 human studies in the literature that identified 24 LH follicle/oocyte signaling proteins. These studies show that human oocyte meiotic maturation is regulated by the same proteins that regulate animal oocyte meiotic maturation. We also found that these LH signaling pathway molecules regulate human oocyte quality and subsequent embryo quality. Remarkably, in vitro maturation (IVM) prematuration culture (PMC) protocols that manipulate the LH signaling pathway improve human oocyte quality of cultured human oocytes. This knowledge has improved clinical human IVM efficiency which may become a routine alternative ART for some infertile patients.


LH follicle signaling; Oocyte meiotic maturation; Oocyte quality


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