In vitro maturation (IVM) is an assisted reproduction technique with reduced hormone-related side effects. Several attempts to implement IVM in routine practice have failed, primarily due to its relatively low efficiency compared to conventional in vitro fertilization (IVF). Recently, capacitation (CAPA)-IVM, a novel two-step IVM method, has improved the embryology outcomes through synchronizing the oocyte nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation. However, the efficiency gap between CAPA-IVM and conventional IVF is still noticeable especially in the numerical production of good quality embryos. Considering the importance of glucose for oocyte competence, its metabolization is studied within both in vivo and CAPA-IVM matured mouse cumulus-oocyte-complexes (COCs) through direct measurements in both cellular compartments, from transcriptional and translational perspectives, to reveal metabolic shortcomings within the CAPA-IVM COCs. These results confirmed that within in vivo COC, cumulus cells are highly glycolytic, whereas oocytes, with low glycolytic activity, are deviating their glucose towards pentose phosphate pathway. No significant differences were observed in the CAPA-IVM oocytes compared to their in vivo counterparts. However, their cumulus cells exhibited a precocious increase of glycolytic activity during the pre-maturation culture step and activity was decreased during the IVM step. Here, specific alterations in mouse COC glucose metabolism due to CAPA-IVM culture were characterized using direct measurements for the first time. Present data show that, while CAPA-IVM cumulus cells are able to utilize glucose, their ability to support oocytes during final maturation is impaired. Future CAPA-IVM optimization strategies could focus on adjusting culture media energy substrate concentrations and/or implementing co-culture strategies.
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- Glucose metabolism
- cumulus cells
- oocyte maturation