Cumulus cell pappalysin-1, luteinizing hormone/choriogonadotropin receptor, amphiregulin and hydroxy-delta-5-steroid dehydrogenase, 3 beta- and steroid delta-isomerase 1 mRNA levels associate with oocyte developmental competence and embryo outcomes
To determine whether a selected set of mRNA biomarkers expressed in individual cumulus granulosa cell (CC) masses show association with oocyte developmental competence, embryo ploidy status, and embryo outcomes.
This prospective observational cohort pilot study assessed levels of mRNA biomarkers in 163 individual CC samples from 15 women stimulated in antagonist cycles. Nineteen mRNA biomarker levels were measured by real-time PCR and related to the development of their corresponding individually cultured oocytes and subsequent embryos, embryo ploidy status, and live birth outcomes.
PAPPA mRNA levels were significantly higher in CC from oocytes that led to euploid embryos resulting in live births and aneuploid embryos compared to immature oocytes by ANOVA. LHCGR mRNA levels were significantly higher in CC of oocytes resulting in embryos associated with live birth compared to immature oocytes and oocytes resulting in arrested embryos by ANOVA. Using a general linearized mixed model to assess ploidy status, CC HSD3B mRNA levels in oocytes producing euploid embryos were significantly lower than other oocyte outcomes, collectively. When transferred euploid embryos outcomes were analyzed by ANOVA, AREG mRNA levels were significantly lower and PAPPA mRNA levels significantly higher in CC from oocytes that produced live births compared to transferred embryos that did not form a pregnancy.
Collectively, PAPPA, LHCGR, and AREG mRNA levels in CC may be able to identify oocytes with the best odds of resulting in a live birth, and HSD3B1 mRNA levels may be able to identify oocytes capable of producing euploid embryos.
KeywordsCumulus cells Real-time PCR mRNA levels Oocyte developmental competence Euploid embryo
This study was supported by an ASPIRE-I grant from the University of South Carolina. MCC was supported by the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Research Program for Medical Students.
Compliance with ethical standards
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and in its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This study was approved by the University of South Carolina Institution Review Board (IRB registration number: 00000240).
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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