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Effects of PI3K and FSH on steroidogenesis, viability and embryo development of the cumulus–oocyte complex after in vitro culture

  • Danielle Kaiser de Souza (a1) (a2), Loise Pedrosa Salles (a3) (a4), Ricardo Camargo (a5), Laura Vanessa Mourão Gulart (a3), Suellen Costa e Silva (a3), Beatriz Dolabela de Lima (a5), Fernando Araripe Gonçalves Torres (a4) and Alzira Amélia Martins Rosa e Silva (a1)...


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of FSH and PI3K on the nuclear maturation, viability, steroidogenesis and embryo development of bovine cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs). Oocyte maturation was achieved with MIV B, MIV B+100 µM LY294002, MIV B+10 ng/mL follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), or MIV B+10 ng/mL FSH+100 µM LY294002 treatments for 22–24 h. After the cultured COCs were denuded, oocytes were separated into those that extruded polar bodies (mature) and those that did not, and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for BAX, BCL2, LHR, FSHR, CYP11A1, CYP19A1 and HSD17B1 genes was performed. The culture medium was collected to determine the levels of 17β-estradiol (E2) and progesterone (P4). The trypan blue test was used to study COC viability, and embryo development was evaluated. FSH increased nuclear maturation and PI3K blocked the maturation but did not influence oocyte viability. BAX and BCL2 expression levels in the cumulus cells were only affected by FSH, and the BAX levels decreased after treatment with LY294002. FSH increased the levels of E2 and P4, however inhibition of PI3K decreased E2 levels. MIV B enhanced levels of LHR, FSHR, CYP11A1, CYP19A1 and HSD17B1, whereas LY294002 inhibited the expression levels of all genes. MIV B+FSH decreased the expression levels of all genes except CYP11A1. LY294002 did not demonstrate any effects in the presence of FSH. Embryo development was significantly decreased when the MIV B+FSH medium was used. In conclusion, FSH controls the steroidogenesis, viability and gene expression in COCs. PI3K plays essential roles in nuclear maturation, steroidogenesis and embryo development.

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      Effects of PI3K and FSH on steroidogenesis, viability and embryo development of the cumulus–oocyte complex after in vitro culture
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Corresponding author

All correspondence to: Alzira A.M. Rosa e Silva or Danielle Kaiser de Souza. Campus Darcy Ribeiro, Faculdade de Medicina – Universidade de Brasilia 70910-900, Brazil. E-mail: or


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