Role for cumulus cell-produced EGF-like ligands during primate oocyte maturation in vitro

Jenna K Nyholt De Prada, Young S. Lee, Keith E. Latham, Charles L. Chaffin, Catherine A. VandeVoort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The developmental competence of in vitro-matured (IVM) rhesus macaque cumulus oocyte complexes (COCs) is deficient compared with in vivo-matured (IVM) oocytes. To improve oocyte quality and subsequent embryo development following IVM, culture conditions must be optimized. A series of experiments was undertaken to determine the role of epidermal growth factor (EGF) during IVM of rhesus macaque COCs. The addition of Tyrphostin AG-1478 (a selective inhibitor of the EGF receptor EGFR) to the IVM medium yielded fewer oocytes maturing to metaphase II of meiosis II (MII), decreased cumulus expansion, and a lower percentage of embryos that developed to the blastocyst stage compared with untreated IVM controls, indicating that EGFR activation is important for IVM maturation in the rhesus macaque. However, the addition of recombinant human EGF (r-hEGF) to the IVM medium did not enhance outcome. The expression of mRNAs encoding the EGF-like factors amphiregulin, epiregulin, and betacellulin in cumulus cells indicates that these factors produced by cumulus cells may be responsible for maximal EGFR activation during oocyte maturation, precluding any further effect of exogenous r-hEGF. Additionally, these results illustrate the potential futility of exogenous supplementation of IVM medium without prior knowledge of pathway activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2009


  • Epidermal growth factor
  • Follicle
  • Gene expression
  • Ovary
  • Rhesus monkey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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