Gene expression profiling of human oocytes following in vivo or in vitro maturation

Gayle Maree Jones, David Stephen Cram, Bi Song, C Magli, Luca Gianaroli, Orly Lacham, Jock K Findlay, Graham Jenkin, Alan Osborne Trounson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    101 Citations (Scopus)


    BACKGROUND Immature human oocytes matured in vitro, particularly those from gonadotrophin stimulated ovaries, are developmentally incompetent when compared with oocytes matured in vivo. This developmental incompetence has been explained as poor oocyte cytoplasmic maturation without any determination of the likely molecular basis of this observation. METHODS Replicate whole human genome arrays were generated for immature and mature oocytes (matured in vivo and in vitro, prior to exposure to sperm) recovered from women undertaking gonadotrophin treatment for assisted reproduction. RESULTS More than 2000 genes were identified as expressed at more than 2-fold higher levels in oocytes matured in vitro than those matured in vivo (P <0.05, range 4.98 x 10(-2) -2.22 x 10(-4)) and 162 of these are expressed at 10-fold or greater levels (P <0.05, range 4.98 x 10(-2)-1.38 x 10(-3)). Many of these genes are involved in transcription, the cell cycle and its regulation, transport and cellular protein metabolism. CONCLUSIONS Global gene expression profiling using microarrays and bioinformatics analysis has provided a molecular basis for differences in the developmental competence of oocytes matured in vitro compared with in vivo. The over-abundance of transcripts identified in immature germinal vesicle stage oocytes recovered from gonadotrophin stimulated cycles and matured in vitro is probably due to dysregulation in either gene transcription or post-transcriptional modification of genes. Either mechanism would result in an incorrect temporal utilization of genes which may culminate in developmental incompetence of any embryos derived from these oocytes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1138 - 1144
    Number of pages7
    JournalHuman Reproduction
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Cite this