Biological and physiological characteristics of human cumulus cell in adherent culture condition


Background: Cumulus cells, as oocyte nurse cells, provide a suitable microenvironment with growth factors and cellular interactions required for oocyte maturation. Thus, these cells may serve as a natural niche for in vitro studies of female germ cell development. Cumulus cells may help attain a better understanding of the causes of infertility in women and eventually improve the outcomes of cases that respond poorly to standard infertility treatment.

Objective: The aim of this study was to isolate, culture, and investigate the biological characteristics of human cumulus cells.

Materials and Methods: In this experimental study, cumulus cells were isolated, cultured, and characterized using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analyses of specific genes including FOXL2, CYP19A1, FSHR, AMHR, and LHR. The presence of vimentin, a structural protein, was examined via immunofluorescent staining. Moreover, levels of anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) and progesterone secretion by cumulus cells were measured with ELISA after 2, 4, 12, 24, and 48 hr of culture.

Results: In adherent culture, human cumulus cells expressed specific genes and markers as well as secreted AMH and progesterone into the medium.

Conclusion: Cumulus cells secrete AMH and progesterone in an adherent culture and might be applicable for in vitro maturation (IVM) and in vitro gametogenesis (IVG) studies.

Key words: Cumulus cells, Conditioned medium, In vitro maturation, In vitro gametogenesis, Niche.

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