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Influence of hyaluronan accumulation during cumulus expansion on in vitro porcine oocyte maturation

  • Masaki Yokoo (a1) (a2) (a3), Naoko Kimura (a2), Hiroyuki Abe (a3) and Eimei Sato (a2)


During oocyte maturation, the cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs) expand dramatically. This phenomenon, which is known as cumulus expansion, is the result of the synthesis and accumulation of hyaluronan in the extracellular space between cumulus cells. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of 6-diazo-5-oxo-l-norleucine (DON), an inhibitor of hyaluronan synthesis, on cumulus expansion during in vitro porcine oocyte maturation and hyaluronan accumulation within COCs. Further, this study aimed to examine the influence of hyaluronan accumulation within COCs on the rate of oocyte maturation. Cumulus expansion was observed during in vitro maturation. However, the addition of DON to the maturation medium significantly inhibited cumulus expansion. The total inhibition of hyaluronan accumulation within COCs was observed with the use of confocal microscopy. Moreover, a positive correlation between the area of cumulus expansion and the rate of oocyte maturation was observed. These results demonstrate that the hyaluronan accumulation within the COCs during oocyte maturation affects oocyte maturation. On the basis of these results, we propose that hyaluronan accumulation within the COCs during cumulus expansion is a necessary step in the porcine oocyte maturation process.


Corresponding author

All correspondence to: Masaki Yokoo. Innovation of New Biomedical Engineering Centre, Tohoku University, 1–1 Seiryou-machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980–8575, Japan. Tel: +81 22 717 7122. Fax: +81 22 717 7104. e-mail:


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Influence of hyaluronan accumulation during cumulus expansion on in vitro porcine oocyte maturation

  • Masaki Yokoo (a1) (a2) (a3), Naoko Kimura (a2), Hiroyuki Abe (a3) and Eimei Sato (a2)


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