, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 79-88
Date: 13 Nov 2013

Differences in cumulus cells gene expression between modified natural and stimulated in vitro fertilization cycles

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The aim of our study was to determine whether there are any differences in the cumulus cell gene expression profile of mature oocytes derived from modified natural IVF and controlled ovarian hyperstimulation cycles and if these changes could help us understand why modified natural IVF has lower success rates.


Cumulus cells surrounding mature oocytes that developed to morulae or blastocysts on day 5 after oocyte retrieval were submitted to microarray analysis. The obtained data were then validated using quantitative real-time PCR.


There were 66 differentially expressed genes between cumulus cells of modified natural IVF and controlled ovarian hyperstimulation cycles. Gene ontology analysis revealed the oxidation-reduction process, glutathione metabolic process, xenobiotic metabolic process and gene expression were significantly enriched biological processes in MNIVF cycles. Among differentially expressed genes we observed a large group of small nucleolar RNA’s whose role in folliculogenesis has not yet been established.


The increased expression of genes involved in the oxidation-reduction process probably points to hypoxic conditions in modified natural IVF cycles. This finding opens up new perspectives for the establishment of the potential role that oxidation-reduction processes have in determining success rates of modified natural IVF.