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Effect of ovarian cortex cells on nuclear maturation of sheep oocytes during in vitro maturation

Shi, Lei, Yue, Wenbin, Zhang, Jianxin, Lv, Lihua, Ren, Youshe, Yan, Peng
Animal reproduction science 2009 v.113 no.1-4 pp. 299-304
germinal vesicle, ova transfer, coculture, culture media, oogenesis, cell nucleus, ewes, cell lines, meiosis, metaphase, in vitro fertilization
The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of ovarian cortex cells (OCCs) monolayers on the nuclear maturation of sheep oocytes with or without cumulus cells during IVM. Sheep ovaries collected from a local abattoir were transported to the laboratory in warm PBS containing antibiotics within 2-3h after collection. Cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were obtained by aspiration and evaluated in a pre-incubated Hepes-modified TCM 199 medium. The selected COCs were randomly divided into six treatment groups: group 1 (control group): oocytes enclosed by cumulus cells were cultured in maturation medium; group 2 (co-culture group): oocytes enclosed by cumulus cells co-cultured with OCCs monolayers; group 3 (conditioned group): oocytes enclosed by cumulus cells were cultured in OCCs-conditioned medium; group 4 (denuded group): denuded oocytes were cultured in the maturation medium; group 5 (denuded co-culture group): denuded oocytes co-cultured with OCCs monolayers in maturation medium; group 6 (denuded conditioned group): denuded oocytes were cultured in OCCs-conditioned medium. After maturation for 24h, the oocytes in each treatment group were fixed, stained and the nuclear status of the oocytes were assessed under an inverted microscope. The highest percentage of metaphase II (M-II) stage oocyte was observed in group 2 (86.3%) and the lower percentage was observed in the denuded groups (group 4-6). The removal of cumulus cells dramatically decreased the percentage of M-II stage oocyte. The comparison of the nuclear maturation status in group 4-6 showed that the co-culture of oocyte with OCCs monolayers resulted in progression to completing the GVBD stage to reach the M-II stage. The results demonstrated that the presence of OCCs could positively influence the meiotic resumption and progression of sheep oocytes during IVM.