Improved rescue of immature oocytes obtained from conventional gonadotropin stimulation cycles via human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived ovarian support cell co-culture

bioRxiv (Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory)(2023)

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Structured Abstract Purpose To determine if rescue in vitro maturation (IVM) of human oocytes can be improved by co-culture with ovarian support cells (OSCs) derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). Methods Fertility patients undergoing conventional ovarian stimulation for oocyte cryopreservation or IVF donated denuded immature germinal vesicle (GV) and metaphase I (MI) oocytes for research, which were allocated between either the control or intervention cultures. Fertility patients aged 25 to 45 years old donated immature oocytes under informed consent, with no additional inclusion criteria. The 24-28 hour OSC-IVM culture condition was composed of 100,000 OSCs in suspension culture with human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), recombinant follicle stimulating hormone (rFSH), androstenedione and doxycycline supplementation. The Media-IVM control lacked OSCs and contained the same supplementation. Primary endpoints consisted of MII formation rate and morphological quality assessment. Additionally, metaphase spindle assembly location and oocyte transcriptomic profiles were assessed compared to in vivo matured MII oocyte controls. Results We observed significant improvement in maturation outcome rates (∼1.7X) for oocytes that underwent IVM with OSCs. Specifically, the OSC-IVM group yielded a maturation rate of 62% ± 5.57% SEM versus 37% ± 8.96% SEM in the Media-IVM ( p =0.0138, unpaired t- test). Oocyte morphological quality between OSC-IVM and the Media-IVM control did not significantly differ. OSC-IVM resulted in MII oocytes with no instances of spindle absence and no significant difference in position compared to in vivo matured IVF-MII controls. OSC-IVM treated MII oocytes display a transcriptomic signature significantly more similar to IVF-MII controls than the Media-IVM control MII oocytes did. Conclusion The novel OSC-IVM platform is an effective tool for rescue maturation of human oocytes obtained from conventional stimulation cycles, yielding oocytes with improved nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation. OSC-IVM shows broad utility for application in modern fertility treatment to improve the total number of available mature oocytes for fertility treatment.
conventional gonadotropin stimulation cycles,immature oocytes,cell-derived,co-culture
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