Science China Life Sciences

, Volume 61, Issue 6, pp 633–643 | Cite as

Current perspectives on in vitro maturation and its effects on oocyte genetic and epigenetic profiles

  • Cuiling Lu
  • Yaoyao Zhang
  • Xiaoying Zheng
  • Xueling Song
  • Rui Yang
  • Jie Yan
  • Huailiang Feng
  • Jie Qiao


In vitro maturation (IVM), the maturation in culture of immature oocytes, has been used in clinic for more than 20 years. Although IVM has the specific advantages of low cost and minor side effects over controlled ovarian stimulation, the prevalence of IVM is less than 1% of routine in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer techniques in many reproductive centers. In this review, we searched the MEDLINE database for all full texts and/or abstract articles published in English with content related to oocyte IVM mainly between 2000 and 2016. Many different aspects of the IVM method may influence oocyte potential, including priming, gonadotrophin, growth factors, and culture times. The culture conditions of IVM result in alterations in the oocyte or cumulus cell transcriptome that are not observed under in vivo culture conditions. Additionally, epigenetic modifications, such as DNA methylation or acetylation, are also different between in vitro and in vivo cultured oocytes. In sum, current IVM technique is still not popular and requires more systematic and intensive research to improve its effects and applications. This review will help point our problems, supply evidence or clues for future improving IVM technique, thus assist patients for fertility treatment or preservation as an additional option.


in vitro maturation oocyte fertility genetics epigenetics 


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This wok was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81300456) and the Joint Research Fund for Overseas Natural Science of China (31429004).


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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cuiling Lu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yaoyao Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Xiaoying Zheng
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Xueling Song
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Rui Yang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jie Yan
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Huailiang Feng
    • 4
  • Jie Qiao
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Reproductive Medical Center, Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyPeking University Third HospitalBeijingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Assisted ReproductionMinistry of EducationBeijingChina
  3. 3.Beijing Key Laboratory of Reproductive Endocrinology and Assisted ReproductionBeijingChina
  4. 4.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyNew York Hospital Queens-affiliated Weill Medical College of Cornell UniversityNew YorkUSA

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