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17 September 2021 Approaches to oocyte meiotic arrest in vitro and impact on oocyte developmental competence
Dulama Richani, Robert B. Gilchrist
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Oocytes are maintained in a state of meiotic arrest following the first meiotic division until ovulation is triggered. Within the antral follicle, meiotic arrest is actively suppressed in a process facilitated by the cyclic nucleotides cGMP and cAMP. If removed from this inhibitory follicular environment and cultured in vitro, mammalian oocytes undergo spontaneous meiotic resumption in the absence of the usual stimulatory follicular stimuli, leading to asynchronicity with oocyte cytoplasmic maturation and lower developmental competence. For more than 50 years, pharmacological agents have been used to attenuate oocyte germinal vesicle (GV) breakdown in vitro. Agents that increase intra-oocyte cAMP or prevent its degradation have been predominantly used; however, agents such as kinase and protein synthesis inhibitors have also been trialed. Twenty years of research demonstrates that maintaining GV arrest for a period before in vitro maturation (IVM) improves oocyte developmental competence, and is likely attributed to maintenance of bidirectional communication with cumulus cells leading to improved oocyte metabolic function. However, outcomes are influenced by various factors including the mode of action of the modulators, dose, treatment duration, species, and the degree of hormonal priming of the oocyte donor. Cyclic GMP and/or cAMP modulation in a prematuration step (called pre-IVM) prior to IVM has shown the greatest consistency in improving oocyte developmental competence, whereas kinase and protein synthesis inhibitors have proven less effective at improving IVM outcomes. Such pre-IVM approaches have shown potential to alter current use of artificial reproductive technologies in medical and veterinary practice.

© The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Society for the Study of Reproduction. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail:
Dulama Richani and Robert B. Gilchrist "Approaches to oocyte meiotic arrest in vitro and impact on oocyte developmental competence," Biology of Reproduction 106(2), 243-252, (17 September 2021).
Received: 11 August 2021; Accepted: 16 September 2021; Published: 17 September 2021
In vitro maturation
oocyte meiotic arrest
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