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Type: Journal article
Title: Extending prematuration with cAMP modulators enhances the cumulus contribution to oocyte antioxidant defence and oocyte quality via gap junctions
Author: Li, H.
Sutton-Mcdowall, M.
Wang, X.
Sugimura, S.
Thompson, J.
Gilchrist, R.
Citation: Human Reproduction, 2016; 31(4):810-821
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Issue Date: 2016
ISSN: 0268-1161
Statement of
H.J. Li, M.L. Sutton-McDowall, X.Wang, S. Sugimura, J.G. Thompson, and R.B. Gilchrist
Abstract: Study question: Can bovine oocyte antioxidant defence and oocyte quality be improved by extending the duration of pre-in vitro maturation (IVM) with cyclic adenosine mono-phosphate (cAMP) modulators? Summary answer: Lengthening the duration of cAMP-modulated pre-IVM elevates intra-oocyte reduced glutathione (GSH) content and reduces hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) via increased cumulus cell-oocyte gap-junctional communication (GJC), associated with an improvement in subsequent embryo development and quality. What is known already: Oocytes are susceptible to oxidative stress and the oocyte’s most important antioxidant glutathione is supplied, at least in part, by cumulus cells. A temporary inhibition of spontaneous meiotic resumption in oocytes can be achieved by preventing a fall in cAMP, and cyclic AMP-modulated pre-IVM maintains cumulus-oocyte GJC and improves subsequent embryo development. Study design, size, duration: This study consisted of a series of 10 experiments using bovine oocytes in vitro, each with multiple replicates.Arange of pre-IVM durations were examined as the key study treatments which were compared with a control. The study was designed to examine if one of the oocyte’s major antioxidant defences can be enhanced by pre-IVM with cAMP modulators, and to examine the contribution of cumulus-oocyte GJC on these processes. Participants/materials, setting, methods: Immature bovine cumulus-oocyte complexes were treated in vitro without (control) or with the cAMP modulators; 100 mM forskolin (FSK) and 500 mM 3-isobutyl-1-methyxanthine (IBMX), for 0, 2, 4 or 6 h (pre-IVM phase) prior to IVM. Oocyte developmental competence was assessed by embryo development and quality post-IVM/IVF. Cumulus-oocyte GJC, intra-oocyte GSH and H2O2 were quantified at various time points during pre-IVM and IVM, in the presence and the absence of functional inhibitors: carbenoxolone (CBX) to block GJC and buthionine sulfoximide (BSO) to inhibit glutathione synthesis. Main results and the role of chance: Pre-IVM with FSK + IBMX increased subsequent blastocyst formation rate and quality compared with standard IVM (P , 0.05), regardless of pre-IVM duration. The final blastocyst yields (proportion of blastocysts/immature oocyte) were 26.3% for the control, compared with 39.2, 35.2 and 34.2%, for the 2, 4 and 6 h pre-IVM FSK + IBMXtreatments, respectively. In contrast to standard IVM (control), pre-IVM with cAMP modulators maintained open gap junctions between cumulus cells and oocytes for the duration (6 h) of pre-IVM examined, and persisted for a further 8 h in the IVM phase. Cyclic AMP-modulated pre-IVM increased intra-oocyte GSH levels at the completion of both pre-IVM and IVM, in a pre-IVM duration-dependent manner (P , 0.05), whichwas ablated when GJC was blocked usingCBX (P , 0.05). By 4 h of pre-IVM treatment with cAMP modulators, oocyte H2O2 levels were reduced compared the control (P , 0.05), although this beneficial effect was lost when oocytes were co-treated with BSO. Inhibiting glutathione synthesis with BSO during pre-IVM ablated any positive benefits of cAMP-mediated pre-IVM on oocyte developmental competence (P , 0.01). Limitations, reasons for caution: It is unclear if the improvement in oocyte antioxidant defence and developmental competence reported here is due to direct transfer of total and/or reduced glutathione from cumulus cells to the oocyte via gap junctions, or whether a GSH synthesis signal and/or amino acid substrates are supplied to the oocyte via gap junctions. Embryo transfer experiments are required to determine if the cAMP-mediated improvement in blastocyst rates leads to improved live birth rates. Wider implications of the findings: IVM offers significant benefits to infertile and cancer patients and has the potential to significantly alter ART practice, if IVM efficiency in embryo production could be improved closer to that of conventional IVF (using ovarian hyperstimulation). Pre-IVM with cAMP modulators is a simple and reliable means to improve IVM outcomes. Study funding/competing interest(s): This work was supported by grants and fellowships from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (1007551, 627007, 1008137, 1023210) and by scholarships from the Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC) awarded to H.J.L. and the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Postdoctoral Fellowship for Research Abroad awarded to S.S. The Fluoview FV10i confocal microscope was purchased as part of the Sensing Technologies for Advanced Reproductive Research (STARR) facility, funded by the South Australian Premier’s Science and Research Fund. We acknowledge partial support from the Australian Research CouncilCentre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CE140100003).We declare that there is no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of the research reported.
Keywords: oocyte in vitro maturation; cyclic AMP; gap-junctional communication; glutathione; oocyte quality
Description: First published online: February 22, 2016
Rights: © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. All rights reserved.
DOI: 10.1093/humrep/dew020
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