Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics

, Volume 35, Issue 10, pp 1821–1830 | Cite as

Respirometric reserve capacity of cumulus cell mitochondria correlates with oocyte maturity

  • Sharon H. AndersonEmail author
  • Michael J. Glassner
  • Andrey Melnikov
  • Gary Friedman
  • Zulfiya OrynbayevaEmail author
Reproductive Physiology and Disease



Oocyte competence is critical in success of assisted reproduction. Metabolic signaling between oocyte and cumulus cells within the cumulus-oocyte complex procure oocyte development. This study evaluated the relationship between respirometric activity of cumulus cells and maturity of corresponding oocytes.


In prospective cohort study, 20 women of age 28–42 undergoing IVF procedure were involved. To evaluate oocyte maturity, the cumulus cells from individual oocytes were assessed flow cytometrically by double labeling of cells with mitochondria specific dyes. The respirometric stress analysis using ATPase inhibitor oligomycin was applied to assess mitochondria metabolic abnormalities.


The cumulus cells from each of 327 oocytes were analyzed. The respirometric index of cumulus cells (O′R) strongly correlates with maternal ovarian reserve, showing to be higher in patients with higher AMH (p < 0.0017). Cumulus cells from immature oocytes had severe mitochondria deficiency, i.e., low O′R, than those from mature oocytes (p < 0.02). No significant difference in respirometric capacity was found between cumulus cells associated with good vs poor-quality embryos.


The oocyte maturity is potentially related to the mitochondria activity of cumulus cells.


Cumulus cells Oocytes Energy metabolism Respiration Mitochondria membrane potential 



The authors are thankful to Saniya Ossikbayeva for her excellent technical assistance. The support of EMD Serono, Inc. to the Main Line Fertility Center is appreciated. The sponsor has no involvement in experimental design, experimental performance, data analysis, and manuscript generation.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Michael Glassner is a founding partner and the medical director at the Main Line Fertility Center. Other authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Main Line Fertility CenterBryn MawrUSA
  2. 2.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyDrexel University College of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.DatalogicTelfordUSA
  4. 4.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  5. 5.Department of SurgeryDrexel University College of MedicinePhiladelphiaUSA

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