Laboratory of Follicular Biology

Brussels, Belgium

Laboratory of Follicular Biology

Brussels, Belgium
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Zeng H.-T.,University of Adelaide | Zeng H.-T.,Sun Yat Sen University | Ren Z.,University of Adelaide | Ren Z.,General Hospital of Guangdong | And 9 more authors.
Human Reproduction | Year: 2013

STUDY QUESTION Does heparin ablate the advantageous effects of cyclic adenosine mono-phosphate (cAMP) modulators during pre-in vitro maturation (IVM) and have a deleterious effect in standard oocyte IVM? SUMMARY ANSWER Heparin interrupts energy metabolism and meiotic progression and adversely affects subsequent development of oocytes under conditions of elevated cAMP levels in cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) after pre-IVM treatment with forskolin. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY In animal IVM studies, artificial regulation of meiotic resumption by cAMP-elevating agents improves subsequent oocyte developmental competence. Heparin has no effect on spontaneous, FSH- or epidermal growth factor (EGF)-stimulated meiotic maturation. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION An in vitro cross-sectional study was conducted using immature mouse and human COCs. Depending on individual experimental design, COCs were treated during pre-IVM with or without heparin, in the presence or absence of forskolin and/or 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX), and then COC function was assessed by various means. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTINGS, METHODSForty-two women with polycystic ovaries (PCOs) or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) donated COCs after oocyte retrieval in a non-hCG-triggered IVM cycle. COCs were collected in pre-IVM treatments and then cultured for 40 h and meiotic progression was assessed. COCs from 21- to 24-day-old female CBA F1 mice were collected 46 h after stimulation with equine chorionic gonadotrophin. Following treatments, COCs were checked for meiotic progression. Effects on mouse oocyte metabolism were measured by assessing oocyte mitochondrial membrane potential using JC-1 staining and oocyte ATP content. Post-IVM mouse oocyte developmental competence was assessed by in vitro fertilization and embryo production. Blastocyst quality was evaluated by differential staining of inner cell mass (ICM) and trophectoderm (TE) layers. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE In the absence of heparin in pre-IVM culture, the addition of cAMP modulators did not affect human oocyte MII competence after 40 h. In standard IVM, heparin supplementation in pre-IVM did not affect MII competence; however, when heparin was combined with cAMP modulators, MII competence was significantly reduced from 65 to 15% (P < 0.05). In mouse experiments, heparin alone in pre-IVM significantly delayed germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) so that fewer GVBDs were observed at 0 and 1 h of IVM (P < 0.05), but not by 2 or 3 h of IVM. Combined treatment with IBMX and forskolin in the pre-IVM medium produced a large delay in GVBD such that no COCs exhibited GVBD in the first 1 h of IVM, and the addition of heparin in pre-IVM further significantly delayed the progression of GVBD (P < 0.05), in a dose-dependent manner (P < 0.01). Combined IBMX and forskolin treatment of mouse COCs during pre-IVM significantly increased mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP production in the oocyte at the end of pre-IVM (P < 0.05), and significantly improved fertilization, embryo development and quality (P < 0.05). However, heparin abolished the IBMX + forskolin-stimulated increase in mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP production (P < 0.05), and adversely affected embryonic cleavage, development rates and embryo quality (P < 0.05). This latter adverse combinational effect was negated when mouse COCs were collected in heparin and IBMX for 15 min, washed and then cultured for 45 min in IBMX and forskolin without heparin.LIMITATION, REASONS FOR CAUTIONExperiments in mice found that heparin ablation of the advantageous effects of cAMP modulators during pre-IVM was associated with altered oocyte metabolism, but the mechanism by which heparin affects metabolism remains unclear. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS This study has revealed a novel and unexpected interaction between heparin and cAMP modulators in pre-IVM in immature mouse and human oocytes, and established a means to collect oocytes using heparin while modulating oocyte cAMP to improve developmental potential. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S) This work was supported by Cook Medical with the Cook Medical Adelaide Fellowship awarded to H.-t.Z, and Cook Medical collaborative research grants awarded to the University of Adelaide and UZ Brussel. © 2013 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved.


Guzman L.,Laboratory of Follicular Biology | Adriaenssens T.,Laboratory of Follicular Biology | Ortega-hrepich C.,Center for Reproductive Medicine | Albuz F.K.,Laboratory of Follicular Biology | And 4 more authors.
Molecular Human Reproduction | Year: 2013

Within the context of an oocyte in vitro maturation (IVM) program for reproductive treatment, oocyte cumulus complexes (COCs) derived from follicles <6 mm in patients with PCOS were matured in vitro. Key transcripts related to meiotic maturation (FSHR, LHCGR, EGFR, PGR) and oocyte competence (AREG, ADAMTS, HAS2, PTGS2) were quantified in cumulus cells (CCs) before and after maturation. Control CC samples were collected from PCOS and normo-ovulatory patients who had undergone conventional gonadotrophin stimulation for IVF/ICSI. Additional control samples from a non-stimulated condition were obtained ex vivo from patients undergoing ovariectomy for fertility preservation. Expression data from CCs from follicles with a diameter of <6 mm before (IVM-CCs) and after in vitro maturation (IVM-CCs) were obtained after pooling CCs into four groups in relation to the percentage of matured (MII) oocytes obtained after 40 h of IVM (0; 40-60; 61-80; 100% MII) and values were compared with in vivo matured controls (IVO-CCs). Genes encoding key receptors mediating meiotic resumption are expressed in human antral follicles of <6 mm before and after IVM. The expression levels of FSHR, EGFR and PGR in CCs were significantly down-regulated in the IVO-CCs groups and in the 100% MII IVM group compared with the BM groups; all the receptors studied in the 100% MII IVM group reached an expression profile similar to that of IVO-CCs. However, after maturation in a conventional IVF/ICSI cycle, IVO-CCs from large follicles contained significantly increased levels of ADAMTS1, AREG, HAS2 and PTGS2 compared with IVM-CCs and IVM-CCs; the expression patterns for these genes in all IVM-CCs were unchanged compared with IVM-CCs. In conclusion, genes encoding receptors involved in oocyte meiotic resumption appeared to be expressed in CCs of small human antral follicles. Expression levels of genes-encoding factors reflecting oocyte competence were significantly altered in IVM-CCs compared with in vivo matured oocytes from large follicles. Observed differences might be explained by the different stimulation protocols, doses of gonadotrophin or by the intrinsic differences between in vivo and in vitro maturation. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved.


PubMed | Laboratory of Follicular Biology
Type: Comparative Study | Journal: Molecular human reproduction | Year: 2012

Within the context of an oocyte in vitro maturation (IVM) program for reproductive treatment, oocyte cumulus complexes (COCs) derived from follicles <6 mm in patients with PCOS were matured in vitro. Key transcripts related to meiotic maturation (FSHR, LHCGR, EGFR, PGR) and oocyte competence (AREG, ADAMTS, HAS2, PTGS2) were quantified in cumulus cells (CCs) before and after maturation. Control CC samples were collected from PCOS and normo-ovulatory patients who had undergone conventional gonadotrophin stimulation for IVF/ICSI. Additional control samples from a non-stimulated condition were obtained ex vivo from patients undergoing ovariectomy for fertility preservation. Expression data from CCs from follicles with a diameter of <6 mm before (IVM-CCs) and after in vitro maturation (IVM-CCs) were obtained after pooling CCs into four groups in relation to the percentage of matured (MII) oocytes obtained after 40 h of IVM (0; 40-60; 61-80; 100% MII) and values were compared with in vivo matured controls (IVO-CCs). Genes encoding key receptors mediating meiotic resumption are expressed in human antral follicles of <6 mm before and after IVM. The expression levels of FSHR, EGFR and PGR in CCs were significantly down-regulated in the IVO-CCs groups and in the 100% MII IVM group compared with the BM groups; all the receptors studied in the 100% MII IVM group reached an expression profile similar to that of IVO-CCs. However, after maturation in a conventional IVF/ICSI cycle, IVO-CCs from large follicles contained significantly increased levels of ADAMTS1, AREG, HAS2 and PTGS2 compared with IVM-CCs and IVM-CCs; the expression patterns for these genes in all IVM-CCs were unchanged compared with IVM-CCs. In conclusion, genes encoding receptors involved in oocyte meiotic resumption appeared to be expressed in CCs of small human antral follicles. Expression levels of genes-encoding factors reflecting oocyte competence were significantly altered in IVM-CCs compared with in vivo matured oocytes from large follicles. Observed differences might be explained by the different stimulation protocols, doses of gonadotrophin or by the intrinsic differences between in vivo and in vitro maturation.

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