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Articles by D. G de Matos
Total Records ( 1 ) for D. G de Matos
  Z Liu , D. G de Matos , H. Y Fan , M Shimada , S Palmer and J. S. Richards

Ovulation has long been regarded as a process resembling an inflammatory response. Recent studies indicate that genes associated with innate immune responses were also expressed during the ovulation process. Because the innate immune genes are induced in cumulus cell oocyte complexes (COCs) later than the inflammation-associated genes, we hypothesize that COC expansion is dependent on specific sequential changes in cumulus cells. Because IL-6 is a potent mediator of immune responses, we sought to determine what factors regulate the induction of Il6 mRNA in COCs and what impact IL-6 alone would have on COC expansion. We found that the levels of Il6 mRNA increased dramatically during COC expansion, both in vivo and in vitro. Moreover, IL-6, together with its soluble receptor (IL-6SR), could bypass the need for either amphiregulin and/or prostaglandin E2 to induce the expansion of COCs. This ability of IL-6/IL-6SR to induce COC expansion was blocked by the inhibitors to p38MAPK, MAPK kinase 1/2, and Janus kinase. More importantly, when COCs were in vitro maturated in the presence of IL-6, they had a significantly higher embryo transfer rate than the ones without IL-6 and comparable with in vivo matured oocytes. IL-6/IL-6SR activated multiple signaling pathways (Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription, ERK1/2, p38MAPK, and AKT) and progressively induced genes known to impact COC expansion, genes related to inflammation and immune responses, and some transcription factors. Collectively, these data indicate that IL-6 alone can act as a potent autocrine regulator of ovarian cumulus cell function, COC expansion, and oocyte competence.

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