2019 Volume 65 Issue 2 Pages 177-182
We examined the effect of the timing of removing cumulus cells surrounding porcine oocytes from small follicles (SFs, < 3 mm in diameter) and medium follicles (MFs; 3–6 mm in diameter) on the meiotic and developmental competence of the oocytes. Cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) were collected from SFs and MFs, and the oocytes were denuded at 0, 20, and 44 h after the start of in vitro maturation (IVM), and the meiotic progression of the oocytes was assessed at the end of the IVM period. The incidence of mature oocytes was significantly affected by both the origin of the COCs and the time when the oocytes were denuded. Although the percentage of mature oocytes was always higher when the COCs were collected from MFs than that when the COCs were collected from SFs, the maturation rate was significantly higher when the oocytes were denuded at 20 h than when they were denuded at 44 h after the start of IVM. When the mature oocytes were activated electrically, the developmental competence of the oocytes denuded at 20 and 44 h to reach the blastocyst stage did not differ, whereas the competence of the MF-derived oocytes was significantly higher than that of SF-derived oocytes. When the intracellular cAMP and cGMP levels in SF-derived oocytes were examined at 24 h of IVM, the levels of both were significantly decreased only in the oocytes denuded at 20 h. In conclusion, denuding oocytes at 20 h of IVM caused a significant reduction in ooplasmic cAMP and cGMP levels and increased the meiotic competence of the oocytes without any reduction in blastocyst formation, even in the case of SF-derived oocytes.