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Type: Journal article
Title: Oocyte maturation: Emerging concepts and technologies to improve developmental potential in vitro
Author: Gilchrist, R.
Thompson, J.
Citation: Theriogenology, 2007; 67(1):6-15
Publisher: Elsevier Science Inc
Issue Date: 2007
ISSN: 0093-691X
Statement of
Robert B. Gilchrist and Jeremy G. Thompson
Abstract: Oocyte in vitro maturation (IVM) is an important reproductive technology that generates mature oocytes that are capable of supporting preimplantation embryo development and full development to term. There is great clinical and commercial incentive to improve the efficiency of the technology, however, progress has been slow over the past decade. A critical challenge is to understand what constitutes oocyte developmental competence and the mechanisms governing it. We have taken the approach of studying in detail oocyte–somatic cell interactions; including, oocyte-cumulus cell (CC) gap-junctional communication, and bidirectional paracrine signalling between the two cell types. It is becoming clear that, compared to oocytes matured in vivo, IVM oocytes undergo maturation prematurely as they are still in the process of acquiring developmental competence in vivo, and the molecular cascade reinitiating meiosis differs entirely to that in vivo. Attempts to enhance oocyte developmental competence by attenuating the spontaneous meiotic resumption of oocytes in vitro have been met with mixed success. Kinase inhibitors that prevent maturation-promoting factor activity have, in general, been ineffectual on promoting oocyte developmental potential post-IVM. In contrast, agents that modulate oocyte cAMP during IVM show greater potential, possibly as these compounds extend oocyte-CC gap-junctional communication. An important concept that is now emerging is that the oocyte secretes potent growth factors that regulate fundamental aspects of CC function and thereby determine the distinctive phenotype of the cumulus–oocyte complex. The capacity of an oocyte to regulate its own microenvironment by oocyte-secreted factors (OSFs) may constitute an important component of oocyte developmental competence. In support of this notion, we have recently demonstrated that supplementing IVM media with exogenous OSFs improves oocyte developmental potential, as evidenced by enhanced pre- and post-implantation embryo development.
Keywords: Oocyte developmental competence
Meiotic inhibition
Gap junctions
Oocyte-secreted factors
Growth differentiation factor 9
Bone morphogenetic protein 15
DOI: 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2006.09.027
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest
Obstetrics and Gynaecology publications

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