Cumulus gene expression as a predictor of human oocyte fertilisation, embryo development and competence to establish a pregnancy

R. A. Anderson, R. Sciorio, H. Kinnell, R. A. L. Bayne, K. J. Thong, P. A. de Sousa, S. Pickering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The close relationship between cumulus cell function and oocyte developmental competence indicates that analysis of cumulus gene expression is a potential non-invasive method to aid embryo selection and lVF outcome. Cumulus was isolated from 674 oocytes from 75 women undergoing ICSI and gene expression analysed by quantitative RT-PCR. Cumulus expression of cyclooxygenase 2 (PTGS2) was higher with mature oocytes, whereas brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was lower when fertilisation was normal. Expression levels of gremlin (GREM1) and BDNF were weak positive and negative predictors of embryo quality respectively. Ranking of GREM1 expression within cohorts of oocytes showed that oocytes associated with the highest GREM1 expression were more likely to be transferred or cryopreserved than discarded (49 vs 33%, P<0.02), although the clinical pregnancy rate was not significantly different. This study demonstrates both the feasibility and difficulties of this method of analysis in the largest such group studied thus far. Novel relationships between BDNF expression and fertilisation were identified, and the potential value of GREM1 expression as a marker of embryo quality supports the further assessment of GREM1 analysis in the context of embryo selection. Reproduction (2009) 138 629-637

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-637
Number of pages9
JournalReproduction
Volume138
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009

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