Human cumulus cell gene expression as a biomarker of pregnancy outcome after single embryo transfer

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Objective: To identify the cumulus cell gene expression associated with oocyte developmental competence, specifically live birth, after single ET (SET) assisted reproductive technology. Design: Retrospective gene expression analysis in human cumulus cells from oocytes that established a pregnancy resulting in live birth versus no pregnancy after SET. Setting: Independent IVF clinic and research institute. Patient(s): Women undergoing IVF/intracytoplasmic sperm injection with SET. Intervention(s): Quantitative reverse-transcriptase- polymerase chain reaction analysis was performed on cumulus masses collected before insemination. Oocytes and embryos were cultured and transferred independently in 38 patients undergoing elective SET. Paired cumulus samples from oocytes that developed into high- versus low-grade embryos also were compared. Main Outcome Measure(s): Gene expression profiles of metabolic (ALDOA, LDHA, PFKP, PKM2), signaling (AHR, GREM1, PTGS2, STS), extracellular matrix (HAS2, PTX3, TNFAIP6, VCAN), and loading control GAPDH in individual cumulus masses. Result(s): VCAN and PTGS2 mRNA expression was significantly higher in cumulus cells from oocytes yielding a pregnancy resulting in a live birth, while PTX3 mRNA expression trended toward higher expression in pregnant samples. Cumulus cell levels of VCAN, GREM1, and PFKP correlated with birth weight in patients at 38 weeks of gestation. No genes correlated with clinical embryo morphology scores. Conclusion(s): Cumulus cell VCAN, PTGS2, GREM1, and PFKP expression may identify oocytes with high developmental potential, leading to enhanced implantation rates and greater developmental capacity throughout gestation. © 2011 by American Society for Reproductive Medicine.




Gebhardt, K. M., Feil, D. K., Dunning, K. R., Lane, M., & Russell, D. L. (2011). Human cumulus cell gene expression as a biomarker of pregnancy outcome after single embryo transfer. Fertility and Sterility, 96(1).

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