MicroRNAs transfected into granulosa cells may regulate oocyte meiotic competence during in vitro maturation of mouse follicles

Yong Jin Kim, Seung Yup Ku, Yoon Young Kim, Hung Ching Liu, Sung Wook Chi, Seok Hyun Kim, Young Min Choi, Jung Gu Kim, Shin Yong Moon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


STUDY QUESTIONDo microRNAs (miRNAs) in granulosa cells (GCs) affect oocyte maturation during ovarian follicle development?SUMMARY ANSWERSophisticated regulation by miRNAs in ovarian GCs may improve oocyte maturation efficiency during ovarian follicle development.WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADYThe meiotic competence of oocytes depends on the follicle's potential to undergo appropriate maturation and is an important factor in infertility therapies such as IVF. The exact function of the GCs during follicular development remains unknown.STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATIONAfter in vitro maturation (IVM) and ovulation induction of isolated ovarian pre-antral follicles from 12-day-old female C57BL6 mice (n = 40), miRNA expression in the GCs was compared according to the maturity of the oocyte (metaphase I (MI) versus metaphase II (MII)). The miRNAs, which showed notable different expression, were modulated by transfection during IVM of follicles.MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODSmiRNA expression and candidate target gene expression in GCs of isolated murine ovarian pre-antral follicles were evaluated by real-time PCR after IVM. miR mimics and -inhibitors for selected miRNAs were transfected into the in vitro-maturated follicles, and ovulation, oocyte maturation and fertilization rates were compared. Candidate target gene expressions in GC were evaluated by quantitative PCR and immunohistochemistry using confocal microscopy.MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCEThe relative expression of mmu-let-7b (0.78 ± 0.10, P = 0.016), mmu-let-7c (0.78 ± 0.12, P = 0.029), mmu-miR-27a (0.57 ± 0.18, P = 0.016) and mmu-miR-322 (0.59 ± 0.14, P = 0.008) was significantly lower in the GCs of follicles containing MII oocytes compared with those of MI oocytes. Transfection with a mmu-miR-27a-mimic sequence decreased the oocyte maturation rate compared with that for the control (9.4 versus 18.9%, P = 0.042), and transfection with mmu-let-7c-, mmu-miR-27a- and mmu-miR-322-inhibitor sequences increased the oocyte maturation rate by 1.5- to 2.0-folds compared with that for the control (40.6, 31.6, and 30.5%versus 18.9%, P < 0.001, P = 0.013, P = 0.021, respectively). The expression of IGFBP-2 was higher in GCs of MII than in the GCs of MI, and higher in miR-inhibitor transfection groups than in miR-mimic transfection groups and controls.LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTIONAn in vitro model was used in lieu of an in vivo model because of the ease of performing miRNA transfection in cell culture. However, studies have shown similarities and differences in in vivo versus in vitro cultured follicles. The findings of the present study need to be confirmed using in vivo maturation models and extended to evaluate developmental competence.WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGSOur findings suggest that sophisticated miRNA regulation in GCs may improve oocyte maturation efficiency during ovarian follicle development.STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S)This work was supported by a grant from the Korean Health Technology R&D Project, Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (A111539). None of the authors has any conflicts of interest to declare.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3050-3061
Number of pages12
JournalHuman Reproduction
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • cell culture
  • follicle development
  • oocyte maturation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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