Estradiol and testosterone concentrations in follicular fluid as criteria to discriminate between mature and immature oocytes

Setor de Reproducão Humana, Departamento de Ginecologia e Obstetrícia, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brasil.
Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research (Impact Factor: 1.01). 12/2004; 37(11):1747-55. DOI: 10.1590/S0100-879X2004001100021
Source: PubMed


The objective of the present study was to examine the association between follicular fluid (FF) steroid concentration and oocyte maturity and fertilization rates. Seventeen infertile patients were submitted to ovulation induction with urinary human follicle-stimulating hormone, human menopausal gonadotropin and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). A total of 107 follicles were aspirated after hCG administration, the oocytes were analyzed for maturity and 81 of them were incubated and inseminated in vitro. Progesterone, estradiol (E2), estrone, androstenedione, and testosterone were measured in the FF. E2 and testosterone levels were significantly higher in FF containing immature oocytes (median = 618.2 and 16 ng/ml, respectively) than in FF containing mature oocytes (median = 368 and 5.7 ng/ml, respectively; P < 0.05). Progesterone, androstenedione and estrone levels were not significantly different between mature and immature oocytes. The application of the receiver-operating characteristic curve statistical approach to determine the best cut-off point for the discrimination between mature and immature oocytes indicated levels of 505.8 ng/ml for E2 (81.0% sensitivity and 81.8% specificity) and of 10.4 ng/ml for testosterone (90.9% sensitivity and 82.4% specificity). Follicular diameter was associated negatively with E2 and testosterone levels in FF. There was a significant increase in progesterone/testosterone, progesterone/E2 and E2/testosterone ratios in FF containing mature oocytes, suggesting a reduction in conversion of C21 to C19, but not in aromatase activity. The overall fertility rate was 61% but there was no correlation between the steroid levels or their ratios and the fertilization rates. E2 and testosterone levels in FF may be used as a predictive parameter of oocyte maturity, but not for the in vitro fertilization rate.

Download full-text


Available from: Marcos Felipe Silva de Sá, Oct 24, 2014
  • Source
    • "The estradiol can directly influence the quality of maturing human oocytes by steroid action on the cell surface via Ca2+ as a second messenger and contribute to the oocyte potential for fertilization and early postfertilization development [36]. In the in vitro fertilization programme estradiol and testosterone levels in follicular fluid may be used as predictive parameters of oocyte maturity [37]. In the follicular phase of menstrual cycle, follicles which contained a healthy but not degenerative oocyte had a significantly higher level of estradiol in the follicular fluid [38]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to trigger the expression of genes related to oocytes in putative ovarian stem cells scraped from the ovarian surface epithelium of women with premature ovarian failure and cultured in vitro in the presence of follicular fluid, rich in substances for oocyte growth and maturation. Ovarian surface epithelium was scraped and cell cultures were set up by scrapings in five women with nonfunctional ovaries and with no naturally present mature follicles or oocytes. In the presence of donated follicular fluid putative stem cells grew and developed into primitive oocyte-like cells. A detailed single-cell gene expression profiling was performed to elucidate their genetic status in comparison to human embryonic stem cells, oocytes, and somatic fibroblasts. The ovarian cell cultures depleted/converted reproductive hormones from the culture medium. Estradiol alone or together with other substances may be involved in development of these primitive oocyte-like cells. The majority of primitive oocyte-like cells was mononuclear and expressed several genes related to pluripotency and oocytes, including genes related to meiosis, although they did not express some important oocyte-specific genes. Our work reveals the presence of putative stem cells in the ovarian surface epithelium of women with premature ovarian failure.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013
  • Source
    • "Elevated E2 and E2/P ratio in FF indicate a more advanced stage of oocyte maturation and have been repeatedly found to be associated with a higher chance of achieving pregnancy [14,17,19,22,25-29]. This observation, however, was not confirmed by other studies [6,20,23,30,31]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The assessment of oocyte quality in human in vitro fertilization (IVF) is getting increasing attention from embryologists. Oocyte selection and the identification of the best oocytes, in fact, would help to limit embryo overproduction and to improve the results of oocyte cryostorage programs. Follicular fluid (FF) is easily available during oocyte pick-up and theorically represents an optimal source on non-invasive biochemical predictors of oocyte quality. Unfortunately, however, the studies aiming to find a good molecular predictor of oocyte quality in FF were not able to identify substances that could be used as reliable markers of oocyte competence to fertilization, embryo development and pregnancy. In the last years, a well definite trend toward passing from the research of single molecular markers to more complex techniques that study all metabolites of FF has been observed. The metabolomic approach is a powerful tool to study biochemical predictors of oocyte quality in FF, but its application in this area is still at the beginning. This review provides an overview of the current knowledge about the biochemical predictors of oocyte quality in FF, describing both the results coming from studies on single biochemical markers and those deriving from the most recent studies of metabolomics.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2009 · Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although the sex of the offspring in mammals is commonly viewed as a matter of chance (depending on whether an X or a Y chromosome-bearing spermatozoon reaches the ovum first), evolutionary biologists have shown that offspring sex ratios are often significantly related to maternal dominance, a characteristic that has been shown to be linked to testosterone in female mammals, including humans. Hence, we hypothesized that variations in female testosterone might be related to reproductive mechanisms associated with sex determination, with higher levels of follicular testosterone being associated with a greater likelihood of conceiving a male. To investigate this hypothesis we collected follicular fluid and cumulus-oocyte complexes from bovine antral follicles. Individual matched samples of follicular fluid were assayed for testosterone, whereas the oocytes were matured, fertilized, and cultured in vitro. The resultant embryos were sexed by PCR. The level of testosterone in the follicular fluid was then compared with sex of the embryo (n = 171). Results showed that follicular testosterone levels were significantly higher for subsequently male embryos (Mann-Whitney U = 2823; P [one-tailed] = 0.016). When we excluded embryos from follicles in which the estradiol-to-testosterone ratio was more than 1 (leaving a sample size of 135), the same result held (Mann-Whitney U = 1667; P [one-tailed] = 0.009). Thus, bovine ova that developed in follicular fluid with high concentrations of testosterone in vivo were significantly more likely to be fertilized by Y chromosome-bearing spermatozoa.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2008 · Biology of Reproduction
Show more