Objective: To investigate the effects of recombinant (r-) LH supplementation in "low responder" patients undergoing ovarian stimulation with r-FSH for an IVF program. The apoptosis rate in cumulus cells was used as an indicator of oocyte quality. Design: Comparison of the rate of DNA fragmentation and caspase-3 activity in cumulus cells in women stimulated with r-LH and r-FSH, versus patients treated with r-FSH alone (control). Setting: In vitro fertilization (IVF) laboratory. Patient(s): Forty patients undergoing assisted fertilization programs treated with a GnRH agonist, or r-FSH treatment begun on day 3 of the cycle (control). In the r-LH group, from day 8 of gonadotropin stimulation, 150 IU per day of r-LH were administered. Intervention(s): Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated digoxigenin-deoxyuridine-triphosphate (dUTP) nick-end labeling (TUNEL) assay, and anti-caspase-3 cleaved immunoassay, to detect apoptosis in human cumulus cells. Main Outcome Measure(s): Difference in DNA fragmentation rate between cumulus cells derived from r-LH treatment and cumulus cells derived from control patients. Result(s): No differences were observed between the two groups in the total amount of r-FSH administered and in the number of retrieved oocytes per patient. A statistically significant increase in the number of immature oocytes and in the E2 serum peak was observed in the control group. The number of transferred embryos was significantly higher in the r-LH group. Pregnancy and implantation rates were higher in the r-LH group, but without statistical significance. The apoptosis rate in cumulus cells was higher in the control group than in the r-LH group. Conclusion(s): This study suggests that supplementation with r-LH improves the chromatin quality of cumulus cells involved in the control of oocyte maturation. © 2007 American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Ruvolo, G., Bosco, L., Pane, A., Morici, G., Cittadini, E., & Roccheri, M. C. (2007). Lower apoptosis rate in human cumulus cells after administration of recombinant luteinizing hormone to women undergoing ovarian stimulation for in vitro fertilization procedures. Fertility and Sterility, 87(3), 542–546. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fertnstert.2006.06.059