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Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2011 Jul;301(1):E196-209. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00686.2010. Epub 2011 Apr 12.

Extensive effects of in vitro oocyte maturation on rhesus monkey cumulus cell transcriptome.

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Fels Institute for Cancer Research & Molecular Biology, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19140, USA.


The elaboration of a quality oocyte is integrally linked to the correct developmental progression of cumulus cell phenotype. In humans and nonhuman primates, oocyte quality is diminished with in vitro maturation. To determine the changes in gene expression in rhesus monkey cumulus cells (CC) that occur during the final day prior to oocyte maturation and how these changes differ between in vitro (IVM) and in vivo maturation (VVM), we completed a detailed comparison of transcriptomes using the Affymetrix gene array. We observed a large number of genes differing in expression when comparing IVM-CC and VVM-CC directly but a much larger number of differences when comparing the transitions from the prematuration to the post-IVM and post-VVM states. We observed a truncation or delay in the normal pattern of gene regulation but also remarkable compensatory changes in gene expression during IVM. Among the genes affected by IVM are those that contribute to productive cell-cell interactions between cumulus cell and oocyte and between cumulus cells. Numerous genes involved in lipid metabolism are incorrectly regulated during IVM, and the synthesis of sex hormones appears not to be suppressed during IVM. We identified a panel of 24 marker genes, the expression of which should provide the foundation for understanding how IVM can be improved for monitoring IVM conditions and for diagnosing oocyte quality.

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