Glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor: an intraovarian factor that enhances oocyte developmental competence in vitro.
ABSTRACT The success of early embryonic development depends on oocyte nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation. We have investigated whether glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) affects the in vitro maturation (IVM) of porcine oocytes and their subsequent ability to sustain preimplantation embryo development. GDNF and both its coreceptors, GDNF family receptor alpha-1 (GFR alpha-1) and the rearranged during transformation (RET) receptor, were expressed in oocytes and their surrounding cumulus cells derived from small and large follicles. When included in IVM medium, GDNF significantly enhanced cumulus cell expansion of both small and large cumulus-oocyte complexes and increased the percentage of small follicle-derived oocytes maturing to the metaphase II stage, although nuclear maturation of large oocytes was not significantly affected. Examination of cyclin B1 protein expression as a measure of cytoplasmic maturation revealed that in the presence of GDNF, cyclin B1 levels were significantly increased in large follicle-derived oocytes, as well as in oocytes from small follicles to a level comparable to the untreated large group. After activation, a significantly higher percentage of both small and large oocytes that were matured in the presence of GDNF developed to the blastocyst stage compared with untreated controls. Indeed, GDNF enhanced the blastocyst rate of small oocytes to levels comparable to those obtained for large oocytes matured without GDNF. The effect of GDNF was specific; this was evident because its enhancement of nuclear maturation and embryo developmental potential was blocked by an antibody against GFR alpha-1. Our study provides the first functional evidence that GDNF affects oocyte maturation and preimplantation embryo developmental competence in a follicular stage-dependent manner. This finding may provide insights for improving the formulation of IVM culture systems, especially for oocytes from small follicles.
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ABSTRACT: Approximately 20% of oocytes are classified as immature and discarded following intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) procedures. These oocytes are obtained from gonadotropin-stimulated patients, and are routinely removed from the cumulus cells which normally would mature the oocytes. Given the ready access to these human oocytes, they represent a potential resource for both clinical and basic science application. However culture conditions for the maturation of cumulus-free oocytes have not been optimized. We aimed to improve maturation conditions for cumulus-free oocytes via culture with ovarian paracrine/autocrine factors identified by single cell analysis. Immature human oocytes were matured in vitro via supplementation with ovarian paracrine/autocrine factors that were selected based on expression of ligands in the cumulus cells and their corresponding receptors in oocytes. Matured oocytes were artificially activated to assess developmental competence. Gene expression profiles of parthenotes were compared to IVF/ICSI embryos at morula and blastocyst stages. Following incubation in medium supplemented with ovarian factors (BDNF, IGF-I, estradiol, GDNF, FGF2 and leptin), a greater percentage of oocytes demonstrated nuclear maturation and subsequently, underwent parthenogenesis relative to control. Similarly, cytoplasmic maturation was also improved as indicated by development to blastocyst stage. Parthenogenic blastocysts exhibited mRNA expression profiles similar to those of blastocysts obtained after IVF/ICSI with the exception for MKLP2 and PEG1. Human cumulus-free oocytes from hormone-stimulated cycles are capable of developing to blastocysts when cultured with ovarian factor supplementation. Our improved IVM culture conditions may be used for obtaining mature oocytes for clinical purposes and/or for derivation of embryonic stem cells following parthenogenesis or nuclear transfer.PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(6):e10979. · 4.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Optimal maturation of oocytes and successful development of preimplantation embryos is essential for reproduction. Mammalian oocytes remain dormant in the diplotene stage of prophase I until the resumption of meiosis characterized by germinal vesicle breakdown (GVBD) following preovulatory gonadotropin stimulation. In response to the preovulatory luteinizing hormone (LH) increase, oocytes undergo GVBD, followed by first polar body extrusion. Although the preovulatory surge of LH is the primary event responsible for the induction of maturation of the oocyte, LH does not act directly on the oocyte due to the absence of functional LH receptors in germ cells. Instead, actions of LH are mediated either by paracrine factors secreted by LH-responsive somatic cells or by the transport of cellular messengers from granulosa/cumulus cells to oocytes through intercellular gap junctions. In addition to the nuclear maturation exemplified by GVBD and extrusion of the first polar body to complete the first meiotic division, oocytes also undergo cytoplasmic maturation characterized by cytoplasmic changes essential for monospermic fertilization, processing of the sperm, and preparation for development to preimplantation embryos. In this review, we summarize our recent works on the identification and characterization of novel LH-inducible ovarian factors for nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation of oocytes.Journal of Mammalian Ova Research 06/2011;