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The effects of meiosis activating sterol on in-vitro maturation and fertilization of human oocytes from stimulated and unstimulated ovaries



The object of this study was to assess functional maturation in vitro by obtaining data on the fertilization and embryonic competence of human oocytes with or without exposure to meiosis activating sterol (MAS) during maturation in vitro. Immature oocytes were either collected from unstimulated patients with polycystic ovaries (PCO) during gynaecological surgery, or were donated by patients undergoing a cycle of intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) treatment including ovarian stimulation with gonadotrophins, PCO oocytes had variable cumulus cover, which was retained during culture while those from ICSI patients were cultured without cumulus. The study included 119 oocytes from PCO patients and 72 from ICSI patients. The oocytes were allowed to mature in vitro for up to 46 h in the presence or absence of MAS. Mature oocytes were inseminated by ICSI with fertile donor spermatozoa and embryo development was monitored in vitro. MAS (30 mug/ml) significantly increased the survival of oocytes from PCO patients (P < 0.01) but did not significantly affect the proportion completing maturation in vitro. For the ICSI patients, >90 % of oocytes survived in all culture groups, regardless of MAS addition, however MAS (10 or 30 mug/ml) significantly increased the proportion of oocytes maturing in vitro (P < 0.05). The apparent tendency towards improved subsequent development in vitro will require larger numbers of oocytes for evaluation. Oocytes from ICSI patients matured more rapidly in vitro than those from PCO patients. Our results show positive effects of MAS on human oocytes, confirming previous data in mice. This work may have implications for the future clinical application of IVM

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