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Structural and metabolic cumulus cell alteration affects oocyte quality in underweight women

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 December 2023

Hong Ji
Affiliation:
Department of Reproductive Medicine, Women and Children’s Hospital, School of Medicine, Xiamen University, Zhenhai Road 10, 361003 Xiamen, Fujian Province, People’s Republic of China Xiamen Key Laboratory of Reproduction and Genetics, Zhenhai Road 10, 361003, Xiamen, Fujian Province, People’s Republic of China
Qing Zhang
Affiliation:
Department of Reproductive Medicine, Women and Children’s Hospital, School of Medicine, Xiamen University, Zhenhai Road 10, 361003 Xiamen, Fujian Province, People’s Republic of China Xiamen Key Laboratory of Reproduction and Genetics, Zhenhai Road 10, 361003, Xiamen, Fujian Province, People’s Republic of China
Lu Ding
Affiliation:
Department of Reproductive Medicine, Women and Children’s Hospital, School of Medicine, Xiamen University, Zhenhai Road 10, 361003 Xiamen, Fujian Province, People’s Republic of China Xiamen Key Laboratory of Reproduction and Genetics, Zhenhai Road 10, 361003, Xiamen, Fujian Province, People’s Republic of China
Rongjuan Chen
Affiliation:
Department of Reproductive Medicine, Women and Children’s Hospital, School of Medicine, Xiamen University, Zhenhai Road 10, 361003 Xiamen, Fujian Province, People’s Republic of China Xiamen Key Laboratory of Reproduction and Genetics, Zhenhai Road 10, 361003, Xiamen, Fujian Province, People’s Republic of China
Fu Liu*
Affiliation:
Department of Human Anatomy and Histoembryology, Xiamen Medical College, Guankou Middle Road 1999, 361023, Xiamen, Fujian Province, People’s Republic of China
Ping Li*
Affiliation:
Department of Reproductive Medicine, Women and Children’s Hospital, School of Medicine, Xiamen University, Zhenhai Road 10, 361003 Xiamen, Fujian Province, People’s Republic of China Xiamen Key Laboratory of Reproduction and Genetics, Zhenhai Road 10, 361003, Xiamen, Fujian Province, People’s Republic of China
*
Corresponding author: Ping Li; Email: saarc2001@sina.com and Fu Liu; Email: jpliufu@163.com
Corresponding author: Ping Li; Email: saarc2001@sina.com and Fu Liu; Email: jpliufu@163.com

Summary

This study aimed to investigate the structural and metabolic changes in cumulus cells of underweight women and their effects on oocyte maturation and fertilization. The cytoplasmic ultrastructure was analyzed by electron microscopy, mitochondrial membrane potential by immunofluorescence, and mitochondrial DNA copy number by relative quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The expression of various proteins including the oxidative stress-derived product 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) and autophagy and apoptosis markers such as Vps34, Atg-5, Beclin 1, Lc3-I, II, Bax, and Bcl-2 was assessed and compared between groups. Oocyte maturation and fertilization rates were lower in underweight women (P < 0.05), who presented with cumulus cells showing abnormal mitochondrial morphology and increased cell autophagy. Compared with the mitochondrial DNA copies of the control group, those of the underweight group increased but not significantly. The mitochondrial membrane potential was similar between the groups (P = 0.8). Vps34, Atg-5, Lc3-II, Bax, and Bcl-2 expression and 4-HNE levels were higher in the underweight group compared with the control group (P < 0.01); however, the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio was lower in the underweight group compared with the control group (P = 0.031). Additionally, Beclin 1 protein levels were higher in the underweight group compared with the control group but without statistical significance. In conclusion, malnutrition and other conditions in underweight women may adversely affect ovulation, and the development, and fertilization of oocytes resulting from changes to the intracellular structure of cumulus cells and metabolic processes. These changes may lead to reduced fertility or unsatisfactory reproduction outcomes in women.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press

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Footnotes

*

These authors contributed equally to this work.

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