Purpose: We hypothesised that varying native oocyte-secreted factor (OSF) exposure or using different recombinant OSF peptides would have differential effects on post-in vitro maturation (IVM) embryo and fetal development. Methods: Mouse cumulus oocyte complexes (COCs) were treated with the purified mature domain of GDF9 and/or BMP15 or were co-cultured with denuded oocytes (DOs) from 0 h or 3 h of IVM. DOs were matured for 3 h as either intact COCs+/-FSH before denuding, or as DOs + FSH. COCs were fertilised and blastocyst development was assessed on days 5 and 6, and either differentially stained for ICM numbers or vitrified/warmed embryos were transferred to recipients to assess implantation and fetal rates. Results: No improvement in embryo development was observed with the addition of GDF9 and/or BMP15 to IVM. In contrast, embryos derived from COCs co-cultured with DOs had significantly improved blastocyst rates and ICM numbers compared to controls (P < 0.05). The highest response was obtained when DOs were first added to COCs at 3 h of IVM, after being pre-treated (0-3 h) as COCs + FSH. Compared to control, co-culture with DOs from 3 h did not affect implantation rates but more than doubled fetal yield (21 % vs 48 %; P < 0.05). GDF9 Western blot analysis was unable to detect any differences in quantity or form of GDF9 (17 and 65 kDa) in extracts of DO at 0 h or 3 h. Conclusions: This study provides new knowledge on means to improve oocyte quality in vitro which has the potential to significantly aid human infertility treatment and animal embryo production technologies.
- Oocyte in vitro maturation (IVM)
- Oocyte-secreted factor (OSFs)